Revision 19-13; Effective November 5, 2019

The 74th Texas Legislature implemented the State of Texas Access Reform Plus (STAR+PLUS) program to create a cost-neutral managed care system to combine acute care with long term services and supports (LTSS). The STAR+PLUS program does not change Medicaid eligibility or services. It does change the way Medicaid services are delivered.

The STAR+PLUS program combines acute care and LTSS, such as assisting in a member's home with activities of daily living (ADLs), minor home modifications (MHM), respite care (short-term supervision) and personal assistance services (PAS). These services are delivered through providers contracted with managed care organizations (MCOs).

The STAR+PLUS program provides a continuum of care with a wide range of options and increased flexibility to meet individual needs. The program has increased the number and types of providers available to Medicaid members.

Service coordination, available to all members, is the main feature of the STAR+PLUS program. It is a specialized case management service for program members who need or request it. Service coordination means that plan members, family members and providers can work together to help members get acute care, LTSS, Medicare services for dually-eligible members and other community support services.

The STAR+PLUS Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) program is a program approved for the managed care delivery system, designed to allow individuals who qualify for nursing facility (NF) care to receive LTSS to be able to live in the community.

Elements of the STAR+PLUS system are different from traditional service delivery. See the Glossary for the definition of terms specific to the STAR+PLUS HCBS program. For a dictionary of acronyms used in the STAR+PLUS HCBS Program, refer to Appendix VII, Acronyms.

The STAR+PLUS Program Support Unit Operational Procedures Handbook (SPOPH) includes operational procedures for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Program Support Unit (PSU) staff.

The STAR+PLUS Handbook (SPH) includes policies and procedures to be used by MCOs, contractors and service providers in the delivery of STAR+PLUS HCBS program services to eligible members.

1110 Legal Basis

Revision 19-13; Effective November 5, 2019

Statutory basis for the STAR+PLUS program:

  • Title 1 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), §353.601-607 and §353.1153; and
  • Title 4 Government Code, Executive Branch, Subtitle I, Health and Human Services, Chapter 533, Medicaid Managed Care Program.

1120 Values

Revision 18-0; Effective September 4, 2018

The principles and practices that form the foundation for the STAR+PLUS Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) program are based on the following values:

  • Members receive services based on their choices and ongoing assessment of their medical and functional needs.
  • The service delivery system is accessible to the member, responsive to his or her needs and preferences, and flexible in honoring choices regarding living arrangement, services and mode of service delivery.
  • Members use available family, community and third-party services and resources, as well as those provided through the STAR+PLUS HCBS program to meet their needs and identified goals.
  • Services provided to the member must provide safe, cost-effective, and medically or functionally necessary alternatives to nursing facility (NF) placement that allow the member the opportunity to use and maintain family and community contacts and services.
  • The individual service plan (ISP) reflects the member's active participation in the assessment and planning process and his or her responsibility to provide as much self-care as possible.
  • Services must support the member's efforts to retain or regain as much independence as possible in the activities of daily living (ADLs), living arrangement and other areas of personal choice, and in meeting any goals.
  • Individuals and members are provided the education, support and services needed to support the member's efforts to remain in or return to the community.
  • Within the constraints imposed by the cost limit on a member's ISP, the program promotes the member's active involvement and choices regarding the services provided.

1130 Mission Statement

Revision 19-13; Effective November 5, 2019

The mission of Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is to provide individually appropriate Medicaid managed care services to adults to enable them to live and thrive in a setting that maximizes their health, safety and overall well-being. To achieve HHSC’s mission, the STAR+PLUS program is established to:

  • coordinate care across service arrays;
  • improve quality, continuity and customization of care;
  • improve access to care and provide person-centered health homes;
  • improve ease of program participation for members, managed care organizations (MCOs) and providers;
  • improve provider collaboration and integration of different services;
  • improve member outcomes to the greatest extent achievable;
  • foster program innovation; and
  • achieve cost efficiency and cost containment.

1140 STAR+PLUS HCBS Program

Revision 19-13; Effective November 5, 2019

The STAR+PLUS Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) program is a home and community based services program authorized under 1915(c) of the Social Security Act. The STAR+PLUS HCBS program provides respite care, minor home modifications (MHMs), adaptive aids, Transition Assistance Services (TAS), employment assistance (EA), supported employment (SE) and financial management services (FMS) through a STAR+PLUS managed care organization (MCO). This section provides an overview of the STAR+PLUS HCBS program, including its eligibility requirements.

1150 STAR+PLUS HCBS Program Goal

Revision 19-13; Effective November 5, 2019

The goal of the STAR+PLUS Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) program is to support and encourage de-institutionalization of adults age 21 years or older who reside in nursing facilities (NFs).

The STAR+PLUS HCBS program accomplishes this goal by:

  • enabling adults who are to remain safely in their homes and/or community;
  • offering cost-effective alternatives to placement in NFs; and
  • supporting families in the role as the primary caregiver.