4510 Description

Revision 17-1; Effective March 15, 2017

Home-Delivered Meals (HDM) provides hot, nutritious meals that are typically served in the individual's home. Meals may be delivered to alternate locations, provided the location is within the provider's normal service delivery area.

Example: An individual receives dialysis treatments on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Because the treatment center is within the provider's normal service delivery area, HDMs can be delivered to that location on the days the individual receives treatments.

When it is necessary for the individual to receive meals in an alternate location out of the service area on a regular basis, shelf-stable or frozen meals may be delivered to the individual's home for use in the other location. The case worker must check with the contract manager to ensure that the provider's contract allows delivery of shelf-stable/frozen meals.

Meals delivered by contracted providers are approved by a dietitian consultant who is either a registered dietitian licensed by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Dietitians or has a baccalaureate degree with major studies in food and nutrition, dietetics or food service management.

40 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Section 55.15, Menus.

(a) A dietary consultant must approve each menu with a list of allowable substitutions as meeting one-third of the recommended daily dietary allowance. The approval must be dated before the date the meal is served. A provider agency may not deviate from the approved menu and its allowable substitutions, unless the provider agency is providing a therapeutic medical diet. 
(b) Planned menus must provide foods with a variety of flavor, consistency, texture and temperature. 
(c) A provider agency must maintain approved menus that meet the terms of the contract.

40 TAC Section 55.19, Modified Diets.

(a) A provider agency must keep documentation from the client's physician of the client's need for a therapeutic medical diet, according to the terms of the contract. 
(b) A provider agency must determine the extent to which the provider agency can provide therapeutic medical meals.

In addition to healthy meals, monthly nutrition education is provided to HDM individuals.

40 TAC Section 55.11, Nutrition Education. A provider agency must provide nutrition education on a monthly basis, either verbally or in writing, to clients. An annual written plan for nutrition education must be developed, identifying subject matter, method of presentation, materials used, and source of the information presented. This plan must be maintained according to the terms of the contract.

4520 Eligibility

Revision 24-1; Effective March 1, 2024

People who apply for or receive Title XX meals are not subject to an income and resource eligibility determination.

A person must score at least 20 on Form 2060, Needs Assessment Questionnaire and Task/Hour Guide, to be functionally eligible for Home-Delivered Meals.

Related Policy

26 Texas Administrative Code Section 271.71 

4521 Home-Delivered Meals Interest List Procedures

Revision 17-1; Effective March 15, 2017

If all service authorization slots are filled at the time an individual requests home-delivered meals, consult the individual to decide whether his needs can be met through other services. If no other service is available or suitable, add the individual's name to the Home-Delivered Meals Interest List(s) by entering the information in the Community Services Interest List (CSIL) system. Individuals who request placement on an interest list must be Texas residents. Individuals are released from the interest list on a first-come, first-served basis; eligibility determinations are conducted as slots for service become available. See Section 2230, Interest List Procedures, for additional information.

If the individual is receiving meals through some other service, the case worker must explore if the meals are through a temporary service. There are several organizations within communities that offer temporary delivery of meals until another source is available. Meals received through the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) through Title III are limited and only meant to provide temporary assistance to individuals. Meals provided through other local organizations may also be temporary.

If an individual calls to request home-delivered meals through Title XX and is currently receiving meals, the intake person records the source of the current meals. The individual must not be screened out due to receiving meals from another source. The intake person completes the intake and either refers to a case worker for assessment, if the region has open enrollment, or places the individual's name on the interest list. If an ongoing individual requests Title XX meals, the same policy applies. The applicant/individual may continue to receive temporary meals while on the interest list for Title XX home-delivered meals.

When the case worker receives the request for services or an individual's name is released from the interest list, the case worker must determine if the source of current meals is ongoing or temporary. If the applicant/individual states the meals are ongoing, the case worker must verify with the source and document that the meals are ongoing. The applicant/individual has a right to choose between Title XX home-delivered meals and the other source. The case worker must document the applicant's/individual's decision and follow procedures for approving or denying the request for services.

If the source is a temporary service, the applicant must be authorized for Title XX meals if all other eligibility requirements are met. Service initiation through Title XX meals must be coordinated with the termination of the temporary service and documented in the case record.

4530 Casework Procedures

Revision 17-1; Effective March 15, 2017

4531 Service Initiation

Revision 17-1; Effective March 15, 2017

Refer to 40 Texas Administrative Code Section 55.25, Service Initiation.

To refer individuals to providers for Home-Delivered Meals (HDM), complete Form 2101, Authorization for Community Care Services, and send the referral packet to the selected provider (see Appendix XIII, Content of Referral Packets). The provider must initiate services within 10 days from the date of referral and return Form 2101 to the case worker within 21 calendar days.

Inform the provider of any special circumstances that would be relevant to the individual's service provision. Whenever necessary for the individual's health, specify on Form 2101 that the provider must deliver meals that have been prepared without added salt as seasoning or flavoring. Ensure that the individual understands when the home-delivered meals will be delivered, his responsibility for receiving the meals and that he is not responsible for contributing or paying for them.

Reassess the individual's eligibility for services annually, within 12 months of the previous functional assessment.

Note: To ensure there is no service duplication of home-delivered meals, coordinate services with the local Area Agency on Aging.

4532 Individual Health and Safety

Revision 17-1; Effective March 15, 2017

A provider agency must have written procedures in place to ensure it investigates and reports to the appropriate persons or entities any significant changes in the individual’s physical or mental condition or environment. These procedures must require the following:

  • The provider agency notifies an individual’s case worker, orally or by fax, within one working day after becoming aware of significant changes in the individual’s physical or mental condition or environment.
  • If the provider agency notifies the case worker orally, the provider agency must send written notification to the case worker within five working days of the initial verbal notification.

A provider agency must inform the individual about safety, health, or fire hazards identified in the individual’s home when the provider agency discovers these hazards. The provider agency must retain documentation of such communications in its files, according to the terms of the contract.

A provider agency must notify the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) personnel, orally or by fax, within one working day after an incident that may prevent the provider agency from delivering meals to one or more individuals.

A reportable incident includes:

  • weather-related emergency;
  • fire; or
  • other natural disaster.

The provider agency must report an incident to:

  • the contract manager;
  • the individual’s case worker or supervisor.

If the provider agency notifies the case worker orally, the provider agency must send written notification to the contract manager or case worker, or both, within five working days of the initial notification.

If the individual delivering the meal reports to the provider any individual illnesses, potential threats to safety or observable changes in the individual's condition, the provider must notify the case worker about the report within 24 hours. The provider must also notify the case worker within 24 hours whenever the meal is found uneaten or untouched.

4532.1 Waivers for Alternate Meal Delivery Methods

Revision 17-1; Effective March 15, 2017

Home Delivered Meals (HDM) providers are generally expected to deliver five hot meals a week to each individual. Occasional exceptions to allow the use of "…frozen, chilled or shelf-stable meals for emergency or inclement weather situations, emergency situations and for situations approved by the contract manager on a case-by-case basis…", may be granted under Texas Administrative Code, Title 40, §55.21, concerning Frozen, Chilled or Shelf-Stable Meals.

HDM providers must submit a waiver request to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) contract manager if the provider determines that delivery of frozen or shelf-stable meals is required for certain individuals within the provider's contracted service area. Any waivers granted will be effective for a period not to exceed one fiscal year. The provider must not implement the waiver of the requirement for delivery of a hot meal five days a week prior to HHSC approval of the waiver request.

In order to be able to adequately inform individuals of the service delivery plan, case workers are expected to work closely enough with the contract manager to be aware of the delivery provisions of each HDM provider. Any inquiries by providers regarding the waiver must be referred to the contract manager.

4533 Suspension of Services

Revision 17-1; Effective March 15, 2017

Refer to 40 Texas Administrative Code Section 55.33, Suspension of Services.

The provider must notify the case worker on the day Home-Delivered Meals is suspended without the case worker's authorization. The provider must suspend services in any of the following situations when the:

  • individual moves out of the geographical area served by the provider;
  • individual enters an institution;
  • individual requests that services be suspended or terminated;
  • individual dies; or
  • case worker directs the provider to suspend services.

Unless the interruption is the result of one of the above situations, the provider must obtain the case worker's approval for service interruptions of more than two consecutive days.

When the individual requests that services be suspended and specifies a date for services to resume, the provider is not required to notify the case worker.

4534 Termination of Services

Revision 17-1; Effective March 15, 2017

The case worker must send the provider authorization for community care services for Title XX services, indicating the date services are to be terminated.

Send a copy of Form 2065-A, Notification of Community Care Services, to the provider as notification of the termination and of the date the service will end. For detailed information regarding service termination, see Section 2800, Procedures for Denying or Reducing Services.