View this email in your browser

Twogether Newsletter
Issue 5.02.22

Happiness blooms from within
Meghan, Kacey, Brayden, Logan and Hudson
Meet Meghan!

Hello! My name is Meghan Jones and I've been working here at Twogether since 2015, as Julie's Administrative Assistant. I'm the one you contact for training registration and everything else in between. I'm eagar to work and to get to know you all!
A little about me: I have been married to my High School sweetheart for over 10 years now, and we have 3 crazy BOYS! (did I say crazy?) They are 9, 5 and almost 1! They keep us super busy, our hands and hearts are full! In my down time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, having game nights and watching my boys play baseball. I'm excited for this new opportunity to take over the role as the editor of our newsletter. Please come to me with any questions, my inbox is always open!
A Note From Julie
Difficulties Disabled Voters May Be Facing This Election Year In Texas
May 7 th is almost here and early voting is in full swing! This year is particularly tryingfor individuals with disabilities concerning voting. With the new laws in Texas, including the new attendant oath, persons who assist individuals daily and receive payment forservices could face jail time for assisting those same individuals with voting at the polls. Those assisting the individuals are not allowed to receive paid compensation for
assistance to the individual. No one seems to know for sure what the exact
interpretation of the laws are and unfortunately a lot of persons working with persons with disabilities are paid to provide assistance with their daily needs.
The concept of this new oath to be taken at the poll, draws a lot of concern
from aides and personal attendants.

These are the people that help persons with disabilities complete tasks they would not be able to perform on their own, such as personal hygiene, transportation to appointments or the grocery store and elsewhere, writing, meal preparation and other daily living skills. Personal attendants can and do help with voting, but changes to the oath they’re required to take have prompted fears of criminal prosecution for simply doing their job.

Aides and/or personal attendants now must disclose their relationship to the voter, and whether compensation was provided, and recite an oath under penalty of perjury attesting that they did not pressure or coerce the voter. This new “barr for compensation” has really upset and concerned aides and personal attendants.

Personal Attendants have also in the past helped “mail-in voters” complete their ballots.Another concern is that now all signatures must be wet-ink, so stamps for people whocannot write. If an attendant helps fill out a ballot or signs for the voter must providetheir personal information when doing so, which seems like that information is being gathered to possibly use against the aide or personal attendant. Another new voting law passed by the Texas Legislature last year has made voting by mail increasingly difficult. An analysis by the Associated Press showed that about 13% of all mail-in ballots cast in the March 1 primary were rejected. Some voters with disabilities will not vote at all because they don’t want to go through the hassle of the complicated new rules for mail-in and not being able to get proper assistance at live voting poll areas.

For information on voting rights of persons with disabilities in Texas, please go to the Disabiity Rights of Texas website.
For resources for election officials and polling site workers on the rights of voters
with disabilities, polling place accessibility, how to interact with voters with disabilities, and more, see our Election Workers Resource page.
Disability Rights Texas employs staff specialists responsible for a wide variety of
activities such as training people with disabilities on voting rights, surveying polling places, working with election officials, and responding to legislative inquiries. In addition to these year-round activities, DRTx has a special toll-free Voter Rights Hotline to answer questions, respond to legal violations, and troubleshoot problems. Call 1-888-796-VOTE (8683) for free assistance with voting if you are disabled.

They help ensure that Texans with disabilities can:
 Register to vote
 Access polling places
 Cast a ballot
 File a complaint if excluded from any part of the voting process
Problems voting or registering to vote? Questions about voters with disabilities?
Hotline is at 1-888-796-VOTE (8683). Please note that this phone number is for voting issues only and not for service requests.

Please also consider this great tool for teaching persons with disabilities about voting, and their rights: Voting Rights Picture Book from Disability Rights Texas
Twogether Newsletter Sponsors
We are looking for new sponsors/ advertisers for the newsletters! Please contact Meghan for more information! 
Ryan is our new contact person for Texas

Your Weekly Tax Tip 

Pegue-Dennis, CPA P.C.
Office 1: 469-708-4272
 Back to current: Maximizing the Tax Benefit of Charitable Deductions
If You're Expecting a Refund, Read This!
Tip Image
Tip Category: Your Income

If you’re getting a refund, here are four useful tips to know.

1. The average refund is more than $3,500. Through February 18, the IRS reports the average refund is $3,536, which is up 22% versus the same time last year. Since a refund is really your money to begin with, it’s like giving the federal government an interest-free loan.

Tip: If you’re getting a big refund this year due to overpayment of tax, it may be worth adjusting your withholdings to eliminate overpayment for 2022.

2. Most refunds still arrive within three weeks. The IRS says it issues nine of 10 refunds within 21 days. However, electronically filed returns will usually get a refund faster than those filed by paper in the mail. Don't expect that turnaround with a paper filed return, however. The IRS says they are still processing a backlog of last year's returns and don't expect to be caught up until year end.

Tip: The best way to check the status of your refund is by visiting While you can see the status of your refund, there isn't a whole lot you can do about it until the IRS processes the refund.

3. Sometimes refunds are wrong. If your refund isn’t the amount you expected, there could be multiple reasons why. The primary culprit may be caused by the numerous incentives available during the 2021 tax year, driven by the increased Child Tax Credit. But there could also be a typo or calculation error, or the IRS may have disallowed some deductions or credits. If you owe other debts to the government, they may have these garnished from your refund check.

Tip: If your refund amount is different than the amount on your tax return, try to understand why this is the case before cashing the check. Follow up with the IRS for an explanation about the missing amount. Amounts cashed that are larger than you expect can actually cause problems if the IRS expects repayment.

4. Con artists prey on refund checks. Year after year, IRS scams are among the most commonly reported frauds. Con artists call unsuspecting taxpayers and claim to be from the IRS. They say that you owe money or that a refund was issued in error and demand immediate repayment.

Tip: An IRS agent will never call a taxpayer over the phone without first sending an official letter, and will neither threaten a taxpayer nor demand immediate payment. They’ll also never ask for credit card or debit card numbers over the phone. If you are contacted by a suspected scammer, report it to the IRS by calling 800-366-4484.

Read more tips
Twogether Trainings
“Pop-Up” Live Training :
Care Coordination Series: HCS (Elgin, Tx) 



Twogether Consulting is happy to announce that we have a limited invite we are sending out to HCS Providers who would like to attend our Case Management/Care Coordination Training Series.  We will be presenting this training session live at Down Home Ranch, in Elgin, Tx.  They have been kind enough to offer other HCS Providers the chance for Case Managers, Program Managers and/or QA staff the opportunity to attend our first “live” training in quite some time.  Space is very limited.  So please contact us as soon as possible if you are interested in having any of your staff attend.  

Below are some specifics about the training including, the exact location on the ranch where the training will take place, a map of the ranch, restaurants, and hotels in the area, and the agenda.   Please contact Meghan Jones for registration ASAP, with limited seating.  Registration Closes May 6th, 2022


Dates:  May 9th, 10th, and 11th, 2022.

Times:  Day 1:  10AM-4PM, Day 2:  9AM-4PM, Day 3: 9AM-3:30PM
Cost:  $275 per person (for the 3 days total).   You may pay via PayPal invoice with PayPal, Credit or Debit Card, or our business Venmo account and also by check
Handouts:  Training Manuals will be provided as well. 
Location:  Down Home Ranch (20250 FM 619 Elgin, TX 78621)
** Please Go To Library Training Resource Room


To register please contact Meghan Jones 
or Ph: 361-649-5104

Presenter:  Julie Blacklock/IDD Waiver Consultant 

For: New Providers, Owners, Program Managers, Care Coordinators/Case Managers, Quality Assurance Staff, Nurses/Nurse Case Managers,
HR staff (HCS & TXHmL only)

See attachments for close-by hotels and restaurants below
and the full agenda for all 3 days.

Hotels and Restaurants

May 9th-11th-2022-Agenda-CC-CM


-Intro To HCS & TxHmL Waivers

-Rules & Regs

-Roles & Responsibilities:  Provider Vs. The LIDDA (Local IDD Authority)

-Developing The IP Using Person-Centered Practices (Implementation Plan)

-ICAP/LON/IDRC (Definitions, How to Complete, and How To Obtain LON Increase)

-Billing Requirements/Billable Services (General and Specific Definitions, justifications, etc…)

-Adaptive Adis, Minor Home Modifications, and Dental .


To complete registration and for any additional information or to arrange
payment by check you must contact:

Meghan Jones at: 

You may contact Meghan by phone at: (361) 649-5104   

Mailing address for checks:  
Twogether Consulting  P.O. Box 90426 Austin, TX 78709


“Updating Infection Control Policies: Applying Guidance Updates For COVID-19 Mitigation, Visitation, & Expansion Rules-ICF/IID”

Date: May 31st, 2022

Time: 10:00 AM-12:00PM

Cost: $40

For:  Program Managers, Administrators,
Case Managers/Care Coordinators, Nursing Staff

Presenter:  Julie Blacklock

You will receive a confirmation email and handout as well as a link to register with “Gotowebinar” to attend the session, once we receive payment.  Please click on your registration link right away to receive reminders for the session!

Copy of Rules Updated 04/18/22


HHSC has issued enhanced COVID-19 emergency rules. The rules require additional actions by the ICF program providers to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We will be discussing each of these changes and ways to address them in your facility if you have not done so already.  Don’t forget, if you need help with your infection control policies we would be glad to help.  You can contact us at:

Topics (Concerning COVID-19):

-Discussion of revised ICF COVID-19 Provider Response Mitigation Rules for ICFs/IID 

-(Changes to pages 12, 18, 19, 20, 27, 28, 29, 31, 33, 34, and 38 )

-Screening- Updates (Changes as of 4/6/22)

Reporting Requirements for Positive Cases of COVID-19  (Changes as of 4/6/22)

Visitation Rules in the Facility and Homes (Changes as of 4/8/22)

Infection Control Policies– Do you have them? Are you addressing COVID-19 concerns? Have you kept up with updates to policies as guidance has changed?)

-Facilities without a CLIA Waiver-Requesting Binax Rapid Tests

-Policy Samples
-Correction Options

and much more


To complete registration and for any additional information or to arrange
payment by check you must contact:

Meghan Jones at: 

You may contact Meghan by phone at: (361) 649-5104   

Mailing address for checks:  
Twogether Consulting  P.O. Box 90426 Austin, TX 78709

Twogether Updates

May 1, 2022

April 28th, 2022 Update From Twogether Consulting!      Hope everyone's Spring Holidays were a success:  Easter, Passover, Ramadan, and Eastern Orthodox Easter! There are so many changes happening right now for LTC Providers, especially those in the HCS/TxHmL programs: CARE Migration to TMHP, Critical Incident Management Reporting System, New Rules Coming for the HCBS program, including  ISS and DH changes, and much more. It continues to be a huge year of change!   Please contact us more

Apr 29, 2022

April 29th, 2022 ICF Visitation Rules Update An alert went out to remind providers that all visitation must be allowed. Essential caregiver and end-of-life visits must be allowed for all individuals with any COVID-19 status. A facility may be cited if visitation is not allowed. Review ICF/IID visitation rules from April 4th, 2022, for additional information. April 10th, 2022 COVID-19 ICF Mitigation, Response Rule Revised Effective April 6 HHSC Long-term Care Regulation has published more

Apr 28, 2022

April 28th, 2022 Claims Submission Reminder: HCS and TxHmL Must Submit Claims and Forms to TMHP Beginning May 2, 2022 Reminder: HCS and TxHmL Programs can Submit 837P Professional and 837D Dental Claims Using EDI or TexMedConnect For additional questions, providers can refer to the HCS and TxHmL Waiver Programs Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), send an email to, or contact the TMHP EDI Help Desk at more

Apr 28, 2022

April 28th, 2022 COVID-19 ICF/IID Webinar Recording from April 11 Available The April 11 recording of the Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions COVID-19 Q&A with HHSC Long-term Care Regulation and DSHS is available. The PowerPoint is updated with information given in the DSHS webinar. Read the COVID-19 Q&A (PDF). Listen to the webinar recording here. Email LTCR Policy for the transcrip February 27th, 2022 COVID-19 ICF/ more

Apr 28, 2022

April 28th, 2022 Very Important! Recorded Webinar For Claims Submission in TMHP   Below is the link to the recording of the claims submission webinar TMHP conducted.   Additional information about the migration will be sent under separate cover. Note:  HHSC will not conduct another webinar on claims submission! more

Apr 28, 2022

April 28th, 2022 STAR+PLUS Pilot:  Attached are handouts from the November, 2021 and February, 2022 joint meeting of the IDD SRAC and STAR+PLUS Pilot Program Workgroup related to the pilot and decisions (including eligibility) made thus far. See pages 52 - 102 of the February, 2022 document for information about the pilot. HHSC has created a webpage on the Pilot Program. The link to this more

Apr 28, 2022

April 28th, 2022 Details On Hearing Date, Time & Location:  Thursday, May 5, 2022 at 10:00 a.m., Capitol Extension, E2.030 Purpose:  To receive invited testimony on several of its interim charges:  #1 related to Healthy Families, Healthy Texas Initiative,  #8 related to the 1115 Waiver, and, the one of importance to PPAT members, #4 related to implementation of SB1, Rider 30 (HHSC) and recommendations for reducing the interest list for waiver services for Individuals with IDD and more

Apr 26, 2022

Please go to for more information and registration. Click on  "the calendar" of the Webinar you want to attend.  ********We also have pre-recorded webinars you can purchase for use at your facility.  Please contact Meghan Jones at: for more information, registration, and payment.       May-July 2022 Most Common Nursing Violations Seen By Twogether Consulting:  Prevention & Correction (HCS/TxHmL)   Please Continue more

Apr 20, 2022

April 20th, 2022 HHSC will hold a public hearing on the rules this summer.  Date and time not shared by HHSC yet. Lengthy discussion regarding the proposed provision related to lease agreements and the potential for eviction if R&B payments are not received, has occurred. A process is needed to ensure Providers receive R& B payments However, It is clear that further discussion regarding the proposed process/requirement is more


Apr 18, 2022

April 18th, 2022 HHSC Updates the ICF/IID COVID-19 Response Plan and FAQ Documents – April 18 HHSC Long-term Care Regulation updated the COVID-19 Response Plan and FAQ documents for Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions program. HHSC Long-term Care Regulation updated the COVID-19 Response Plan and FAQ documents for Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions program. Read more

Apr 16, 2022

April 16th, 2022 Effective April 16, 2022 the Public Health Emergency (Pancemic) has been extended another 90 days.  This means, that if not terminated during that 90-day period, it will either end July 15, 2022, or, if deemed necessary, will be extended for another 90-day periodread more

Apr 13, 2022

April 13th, 2022 Texas Providers have been reminded that they can be surveyed at any time by a CMS/Federal Surveyor and will need to be in compliance if this occurs. In short, at this time, HHSC Regulatory will not survey for compliance with the federal mandate. The federal mandate and HHSC position apply to certified-only HCSSAs, Hospice, Nursing Homes and ICFs/IID. read more

Apr 12, 2022

April 12th, 2022 Information As of Now on Draft ISS Rules: The program rules will go to MCAC on August 11, 2022.  The regulatory or license rules will go to the HHSC Executive Council but no date set yet. The program and regulatory rules will be published in the Texas Register for formal comment in late July, and HHSC will hold a public hearing on the rules. HHSC has decided to eliminate the on-site ratios. Though the off-site ratios have not been eliminated, HHSC is considering revisions more

Apr 12, 2022

April 12th, 2022 Critical Incident Management System (CIMS):  The go-live date is late July.  See additional information below. Revised IL 2022-23: CIMS Part II Webinar on April 26th: Due date for Correcting/Updating Contact Information extended to April 15th:   April 10th, 2022 Register Now for the April more

Apr 10, 2022

April 10th, 2022 HHSC Launches Individualized Skills and Socialization Portal Information Page HHSC launched a new Individualized Skills and Socialization Services Provider Portal. This new portal allows providers access to information on Individualized Skills Socialization services. Including: Complete and review trainings. Find and review provider letters and other information and releases. Link to rules and other services. March 9th, 2022 At the recent HHSC IID Coordination more

Apr 10, 2022

Subscribe To The Twogether Consulting Mailing List! April 9th, 2022 Change is inevitable, as we all know well in this line of work.  Our editor for the newsletter (James) has been with us for almost 8 years now and we will miss him, but his schedule has gotten super busy and he will not have as much time available. Meghan Jones will be transitioning as the new editor.  Many of you know Meghan as she is our administrative assistant and you have probably contacted her for registrations and more

Helpful Resources
Alternate text
Alternate text

Upcoming Webinars & Member-Only Forums 

Webinar: Barriers to Advocacy:
Experiences Among Rural Parents of Children with Disabilities

May 3, 2022, 2 pm - 3 pm

Kristina Rios, PhD, California State University of Fresno
Molly Buren, PhD, National Louis University




Disability Dispatch: Disability rights updates from The Arc of Texas
Welcome to our New Board of Directors Members
Join us in welcoming our newest Board of Directors members, Courtney Pugh, Janniece Sleigh, and Renee Lopez! These leaders bring unique and vast experience to our organization's mission of advocating for the human rights and self-determination of Texans with IDD. Learn more about our Board of Directors backgrounds and expertise by visiting our website.
A white graphic of a face mask against an orange background framed in off white. The text as the top reads RECEIVE THREE FREE MASKS. Below the graphic of the mask aparagraph of purple text highlighted in off white reads “The Arc of Texas wants to ensure equitable access to high-quality masks for all Texans with IDD.” The Arc of Texas logo is in the bottom right hand corner.
Mask Mail-out Program
To help ensure equitable access to high-quality masks and continue to help control the spread of COVID-19, The Arc of Texas is committed to sending Texans with IDD 3 N95 face coverings free by mail. If you are a Texan with IDD, or are connected to someone who might benefit from this program, please complete our survey to receive your masks.

Contact us:
Twogether Consulting
P.O. Box 90426 Austin, TX 78709

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Copyright © 2022, Twogether Consulting, Limited.  All rights reserved.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Twogether Consulting, Ltd. · P.O. Box 90426 · Austin, TX 78709 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp