The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Quality Monitoring Program (QMP) helps address conditions in Texas nursing facilities (NFs) that could be detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of residents. QMP is not a regulatory program and quality monitors do not cite deficient practices. Quality monitors prioritize visits to NFs that have a history of resident care deficiencies, or that have been identified as having a higher-than-average risk of being cited for significant deficiencies in future surveys conducted by the HHSC Long-Term Care Regulation staff. During these visits, the quality monitors — nurses, pharmacists, and dietitians may:
- Recommend changes to policies or procedures
- Conduct staff or in-service training
- Offer technical assistance
- Educate staff about evidence-based best practices
Nursing Facility Minimum Performance Standards (MPS)
Senate Bill (SB) 7, 83rd Legislature, Regular Session, 2013 required HHSC to establish STAR+PLUS credentialing requirements and MPS for NFs seeking to participate in the STAR+PLUS Medicaid managed care program. It allowed a STAR+PLUS Managed Care Organization (MCO) to refuse to contract with the NF seeking to participate in STAR+PLUS if they did not meet the MPS established by HHSC. In April 2018, HHSC amended MCO contracts to add credentialing requirements and a reference to MPS.
To establish the MPS, HHSC formed an MPS workgroup of multiple stakeholders, including representatives from MCOs, NFs, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Texas Association of Health Plans (TAHP), Texas Health Care Association (THCA), and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman. The workgroup met at intervals in 2017-2019. The stakeholders reviewed the proposed MPS performance standards, measures, thresholds, and agreed to certain measures and benchmarks.
House Bill (HB) 2658, 87th Legislature, Regular Session, 2021 amended the Government Code section 533.00251, adding Subsection (h) and directed the HHSC executive commissioner to adopt rules regarding the MPS for NFs that participate in STAR+PLUS.
For more information on the minimum performance standards, benchmarks, and resources, visit the Nursing Facility Minimum Performance Standards page.
Quality in Long-Term Care Conference (QLTCC)
The 2024 Quality in Long-Term Care Conference (QLTCC) will be held at the Renaissance Austin Hotel in August of 2024 (Dates to be determined). The QLTCC will integrate research, evidence-based best practices, and applied solutions for improving the quality of long-term care services in Texas. More information will be available in the Spring of 2024. For questions about this event, email UT Steve Hicks School of Social Work.
Now Accepting Nominations for Nursing Facilities to Participate in Civil Money Penalty (CMP) Projects
The QMP plans to apply for Civil Monetary Penalty Reinvestment Funds (CMP) in 2023. The QMP hopes to receive CMP funds to facilitate the following clinical intervention projects in nursing facilities (NF):
- Music & Memory®
- Java Project
- Montessori Inspired Lifestyle® - Regional Center for Excellence in Person-Centered Care
- Eldergrow Garden Project (Houston area only)
Check back for survey to self-nominate your NF and learn more about the Music and Memory, Java Project or Montessori Inspired Lifestyle.
Check back for survey to self-nominate your NF and learn more about the Eldergrow Garden Project (Houston area only).
For more information, email Therese Palombi.
Nursing Facility Trainings
QMP staff provide facility-based dementia care training. Available options include:
- Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Care Training
This eight-hour course uses a curriculum developed by the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP). It will help the nursing facility’s front-line staff and other health care professionals provide appropriate, competent and sensitive direct care and support to people with dementia.
- Virtual Dementia Tour (VDT)
The VDT allows staff members to step into the shoes of people with dementia. Using props and other items, staff are asked to complete a number of tasks in conditions that mimic the effects of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.
- Person-Centered Thinking Training (PCT)
The PCT is an interactive two-day training, designed to provide nursing facility staff with the skills necessary to help the people they care for maintain positive control over their lives. Participants will be introduced to PCT core concept: finding a balance between what’s “important to” and “important for” the people they serve.
If you are interested in scheduling any of these trainings for your nursing facility, email the HHS Quality Monitoring Program.
Center for Excellence in Long-Term Care
The Center for Excellence in Long-Term Care is a web-based educational platform collaboration with The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing. It offers training modules with best practices for health care professionals who work with older adults and people with disabilities.
Visit the Center's website. Registration is free.
Long-Term Care Resources
QMP Resources has links to videos and other tools.
Rules and Statutes
In 2001, the 77th Texas Legislature passed the Texas Long-Term Care Facility Quality Improvement Act (Senate Bill 1839). This bill had several components, one of which was the Quality Monitoring Program for Nursing Facilities.
Based on that bill, the following state rules and statutes were created:
- Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 255, Quality Assurance Early Warning System for Long-Term Care Facilities; Rapid Response Teams
- 26 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 554, Subchapter J, §554.910 Quality Assurance Early Warning System
- 26 TAC, Chapter 554, Subchapter J, §554.911 Rapid Response Teams