July 1, 2020

A HCSSA must ensure its staff are screened at the beginning of each workday per emergency rule §558.408 (Emergency Rule for HCSSA Response to COVID-19). Staff are employees, contractors, and volunteers. Staff include attendants, home health aides, hospice aides, health care professionals, and providers of hospice core and non-core services. Staff who do not pass the screening in §558.408 must not remain in the agency or make home visits.

A HCSSA also must ensure a client and the client’s household members are screened before a home visit. They must document that each screening occurred. Based on the screening, the HCSSA provides services to the client with the protections described by the emergency rule.

All screenings must include a review of COVID-19 symptoms listed on the CDC website and those identified in §558.408.

Screening documentation must be incorporated in the client record at an interval set by the agency’s policy. This must allow for timely and appropriate follow-up. Symptomatic responses by health care professionals must be addressed.

HHSC surveyors and investigators and the agency’s Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement Committee must be able to retrieve documentation. An HCSSA must generate a report for HHSC surveyors and investigators upon request if screening documentation is maintained electronically. An HCSSA must implement the documentation requirements described in this alert by July 22.