TITLE 1. ADMINISTRATION

PART 10. DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION RESOURCES

CHAPTER 209. MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR MEETINGS HELD BY VIDEOCONFERENCE

The Texas Department of Information Resources (department) proposes amendments to 1 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 209, §§209.1 - 209.3, concerning Minimum Standards for Meetings Held by Videoconference. The department proposes the repeal of existing sections of 1 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 209, §§209.10, 209.11, 209.30, and 209.31, and replacement of those sections with newly proposed text. In addition, the department proposes new §§209.4, 209.5, 209.12, and 209.32, to clarify administrative necessities.

The proposed rules are the result of the department's statutory quadrennial rule review of 1 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 209.

In addition, the department proposes correcting references to the Texas Government Code to be in compliance with legal citation standards in §§209.1 - 209.3.

In §209.1, the department proposes removing the definition for "compressed video" as this term is no longer used within the rule chapter. The department further proposes adding definitions for "computer-based videoconferencing application" and "dedicated video room environment" because of new or revised content in Chapter 209.

The department proposes the creation of §209.4. This section clarifies that Chapter 209 shall not be interpreted to overrule the Open Meetings Act or any Office of the Attorney General opinions interpreting the Open Meetings Act.

The department proposes the creation of §209.5. This section authorizes the department at its discretion to create guidelines establishing technical standards in response to rapidly evolving technologies and requires governmental bodies and institutions of higher education subject to Chapter 209 to review and consider any guidelines promulgated in this way.

The department proposes to repeal the current text of §209.10, for state agencies, and §209.30, for institutions of higher education, as these technical standards no longer apply. The department proposes replacing the repealed §209.10 with updated text. The new text establishes minimum technical standards for open meetings held by computer-based videoconferencing application.

The department proposes to repeal the current text of §209.11, for state agencies, and §209.31, for institutions of higher education, as it is duplicative of the newly created §209.5. The department proposes replacing the repealed §209.11 and §209.31 with updated text. The new text establishes minimum technical standards for open meetings held by dedicated video room environment.

The department proposes the creation of §209.12, for state agencies, and §209.32, for institutions of higher education. The new sections require an entity to comply with any internally mandated security requirements and any applicable 1 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 202 security requirements.

There is no economic impact on rural communities or small businesses as a result of enforcing or administering the amended rule as proposed.

The changes to the chapter apply to state agencies and institutions of higher education.

The assessment of the impact of the proposed changes on institutions of higher education was prepared in consultation with the Information Technology Council for Higher Education (ITCHE) in compliance with Texas Government Code §2054.121(c). DIR submitted the proposed amendments to ITCHE for their review and impact assessment. ITCHE determined that there was no direct impact on institutions of higher education as a result of the proposed rule.

Dale Richardson, Chief Operations Officer, has determined that there will be no fiscal impact on state agencies, institutions of higher education, and local governments during the first five-year period following the adoption of the amended 1 TAC Chapter 209. The new definitions, addition of technical standards for newly developed technologies used for videoconferencing purposes, and the clarification of administrative responsibilities and requirements increase the overall effectiveness of the chapter and do not result in a fiscal impact. Mr. Richardson has further determined that for each year of the first five years following the adoption of new 1 TAC Chapter 209, there are no anticipated additional economic costs to persons or small businesses required to comply with the amendments and proposed new rules.

Pursuant to Texas Government Code §2001.0221, the agency provides the following Governmental Growth Impact Statement for the proposed amendment. The agency has determined the following:

1. The proposed rules neither create nor eliminate a government program.

2. Implementation of the proposed rules does not require the creation or elimination of employee positions. There are no additional employees required nor employees eliminated to implement the rule as amended.

3. Implementation of the proposed rules does not require an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the agency. There is no fiscal impact as implementing the rule does not require an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations.

4. The proposed rules do not require an increase or decrease in fees paid to the agency.

5. The proposed rules create new rules. Four of the new rule sections replace rules that the department proposes to repeal. These new rules establish the priority of the Open Meetings Act and Office of the Attorney General in questions of interpretation; permit the department to create guidelines in response to rapidly developing technologies; establish minimum standards for new technologies that can be used to host open meetings; and require entity compliance with security requirements.

6. The proposed rules repeal four existing rule sections and replace them with four new sections. Two of the repealed sections reference videoconferencing technology that is no longer relevant due to recent technological development. Two of the repealed sections are duplicative of a newly created section that authorizes the department to create guidelines to establish technical standards for rapidly developing technologies.

7. The proposed rules do not increase or decrease the number of individuals subject to the rule's applicability. The department has neither expanded nor reduced the overall applicability of these rules and, as such, the number of individuals subject to the rule has not changed.

8. The proposed rules do not positively or adversely affect the state's economy. The effect of establishing minimum standards for expanded technologies to host open meetings may have an added benefit of increasing citizen access to governmental body and institution of higher education governing body meetings.

Written comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to Christi Koenig Brisky, Assistant General Counsel, 300 West 15th Street, Suite 1300, Austin, Texas 78701, or to rules.review@dir.texas.gov. Comments will be accepted for 30 days after publication in the Texas Register.

SUBCHAPTER A. DEFINITIONS

1 TAC §§209.1 - 209.5

The amendments and new rules are proposed pursuant to Texas Government Code §551.127(i), which orders the department to adopt rules specifying minimum standards for audio and video signals at a meeting held by videoconference call.

No other code, article, or statute is affected by this proposal.

§209.1.Applicable Terms and Technologies for Meetings Held by Videoconference.

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings[,] unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(1) Computer-Based Videoconferencing Application--a commercially-available application designed to facilitate videoconferencing between a Personal Computer to another Personal Computer or mobile device either one-to-one or in a group environment. [Compressed video--Video data that has been digitized and in the process, condensed by the use of one or more of the common video compression processes (lossy, lossless, interframe compression, etc.). A codec produces compressed video and uncompresses the video at the remote end.]

(2) Dedicated Video Room Environment--a room that is specifically and exclusively built for the purpose of videoconferencing with specific acoustics, permanent microphone and camera placement, dedicated camera and system equipment, and other equipment that is permanently fixed in the room for videoconferencing. A dedicated video room environment generally uses specific, proprietary software to connect participants at remote locations through a private data network or through a proprietary software connection with the primary dedicated video room environment; this software is typically only compatible with the video room equipment that is used in the primary dedicated video room environment. This definition does not include a room that has nonpermanent connections set up to permit an institution of higher education or governmental body to bring their own electronics into the room and connect them therein.

(3) [(2)] ITU--International Telecommunication Union.

(4) [(3)] Meeting--shall have the same meaning as set forth in Texas Government Code Chapter 551[, Texas Government Code].

(5) [(4)] Videoconference--A communication conducted between two or more persons in which one or more of the participants communicate with the other participants through [duplex] audio and video signals transmitted over a telephone network, a data network, or the Internet.

§209.2.Institution of Higher Education.

A university system or institution of higher education as defined by Texas Education Code §61.003[, Education Code].

§209.3.Governmental Body.

A governmental body as defined by Texas Government Code §551.001(3)[, Texas Government Code].

§209.4Open Meetings Act Requirements for Meetings Held by Videoconference.

No requirements found in subchapters B or C of this chapter shall be interpreted to overrule any section of Texas Government Code Chapter 551 or any rules adopted or opinions issued by the Office of the Attorney General interpreting Texas Government Code Chapter 551.

§209.5.Guidelines.

(a) At its discretion, the department may promulgate guidelines establishing technical standards pertaining to rapidly emerging technologies or technological issues or advancement. The department will publish any such guidelines to the department's website.

(b) Governmental bodies and institutions of higher education conducting open or closed meetings by videoconference call shall review and consider any applicable guidelines promulgated by the department.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on April 29, 2022.

TRD-202201694

Joshua Godbey

General Counsel

Department of Information Resources

Earliest possible date of adoption: June 12, 2022

For further information, please call: (512) 475-4552


SUBCHAPTER B. VIDEOCONFERENCES HELD BY GOVERNMENTAL BODIES, EXCLUDING INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION

1 TAC §209.10, §209.11

The repeals are proposed pursuant to Texas Government Code §551.127(i), which orders the department to adopt rules specifying minimum standards for audio and video signals at a meeting held by videoconference call.

No other code, article, or statute is affected by this proposal.

§209.10.Compressed Video.

§209.11.Other Guidelines.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on April 29, 2022.

TRD-202201695

Joshua Godbey

General Counsel

Department of Information Resources

Earliest possible date of adoption: June 12, 2022

For further information, please call: (512) 475-4552


1 TAC §§209.10 - 209.12

The new rules are proposed pursuant to Texas Government Code §551.127(i), which orders the department to adopt rules specifying minimum standards for audio and video signals at a meeting held by videoconference call.

No other code, article, or statute is affected by this proposal.

§209.10.Minimum Standards for Meetings Held by Computer-Based Videoconferencing Applications by a Governmental Body.

(a) All computer-based videoconferencing applications shall employ a minimum bandwidth transmission speed and/or adequate data compression algorithm to produce a sufficient quality for audio and video such that audio volume and clarity and video clarity are sufficient to hear and view all speaking participants on the videoconference clearly.

(b) Computer-based videoconferencing applications may specify unique minimum requirements for computer central processing units, memory, and video capability to run the computer-based videoconferencing application. A governmental body shall comply with these minimum requirements.

(c) If the videoconference call hosts a public audience at a location or locations specified by the official notice of the open meeting posted by the governmental body in compliance with Open Meetings Act requirements, then the governmental body shall establish a minimum of one host computer at the location(s) that will run the computer-based videoconferencing application. This host computer shall then be connected to:

(1) either a separate video monitor of size proportional to the room and clearly visible to all in the room or multiple video monitors so that all attendees may clearly view the videostream; and

(2) external speakers of suitable volume and sound quality such that all meeting attendees at the host location may clearly hear the meeting.

(d) Any personal computer used by a governmental body member for the purpose of videoconferencing for an open meeting subject to the Open Meetings Act shall contain a camera and speakers of sufficient quality to permit all meeting attendees to see the individual who is using the personal computer and for the individual to hear all speaking attendees.

§209.11.Minimum Standards for Meetings Hosted from Dedicated Video Room Environment to Dedicated Video Room Environment by a Governmental Body.

(a) Videoconferencing equipment used in a dedicated video room environment shall meet the below ITU standards for the respective medium of transmission:

(1) ITU H.320 or H.324 for videoconferencing over a public switched telephone network (PSTN), private line facility, or integrated switched digital network (ISDN);

(2) ITU H.323/SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) for videoconferencing over the Internet; or

(3) Proprietary vendor protocols as long as the governmental body has received certification from the vendor stating that the vendor's equipment and proprietary software protocol release version meet or exceed the required ITU standards.

(b) When using a computer web conferencing system at the primary dedicated video room environment site, a large monitor and adequate speakers shall be used.

(c) Audio signals from a remote dedicated video room environment(s) shall be of similar quality and volume as the local audio at the primary dedicated video room environment.

(d) At least one monitor shall be available at the primary dedicated video room environment site for the audience to easily see remote meeting participants. When using a computer web conferencing system at the primary site, a large monitor and adequate speakers shall be used. The audience and members of the governmental body shall have full view of at least one monitor at each meeting location. Additional monitors shall be placed, as necessary, to ensure a clear view by all in attendance.

(e) If a governmental body uses a dedicated video room environment for the dedicated camera and speaker equipment but is using a computer-based videoconferencing application that is not part of the proprietary dedicated video room equipment setup, then the entity must comply with all minimum standards for computer-based application software and is not subject to the requirements of a dedicated video room environment.

§209.12.Security Requirements for Open Meetings Held by Videoconference.

(a) Each governmental body subject to the Open Meetings Act shall review and comply with any additional internal security requirements of their governmental body that may apply to a meeting held by videoconference.

(b) If 1 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 202 applies to the governmental body, then the governmental body shall ensure compliance with any information security standards promulgated regarding the transmission of data through a public or data/IP network.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on April 29, 2022.

TRD-202201696

Joshua Godbey

General Counsel

Department of Information Resources

Earliest possible date of adoption: June 12, 2022

For further information, please call: (512) 475-4552


SUBCHAPTER C. VIDEOCONFERENCES HELD BY INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION

1 TAC §209.30, §209.31

The repeals are proposed pursuant to Texas Government Code §551.127(i), which orders the department to adopt rules specifying minimum standards for audio and video signals at a meeting held by videoconference call.

No other code, article, or statute is affected by this proposal.

§209.30.Compressed Video.

§209.31.Other Guidelines.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on April 29, 2022.

TRD-202201697

Joshua Godbey

General Counsel

Department of Information Resources

Earliest possible date of adoption: June 12, 2022

For further information, please call: (512) 475-4552


1 TAC §§209.30 - 209.32

The new rules are proposed pursuant to Texas Government Code §551.127(i), which orders the department to adopt rules specifying minimum standards for audio and video signals at a meeting held by videoconference call.

No other code, article, or statute is affected by this proposal.

§209.30.Minimum Standards for Meetings Held by Computer-Based Videoconferencing Applications by an Institution of Higher Education.

(a) All computer-based videoconferencing applications shall employ a minimum bandwidth transmission speed and/or adequate data compression algorithm to produce a sufficient quality such that audio volume and clarity and video clarity are sufficient to hear and view all speaking participants on the videoconference clearly.

(b) Computer-based videoconferencing applications may specify unique minimum requirements for computer central processing unit, memory, and video capability to run the computer-based videoconferencing application. An institution of higher education shall comply with these minimum requirements.

(c) If the videoconference call hosts a public audience at a location or locations specified by the official notice of the open meeting posted by the institution of higher education in compliance with Open Meetings Act requirements, then the institution of higher education shall establish a minimum of one host computer at such location(s) that will run the computer-based videoconferencing application. This host computer shall then be connected to:

(1) either a separate video monitor of size proportional to the room and clearly visible to all in the room or multiple video monitors so that all attendees may clearly view the videostream; and

(2) external speakers of suitable volume and sound quality such that all meeting attendees at the host location may clearly hear the meeting.

(d) Any personal computer used by a governing body member of an institution of higher education for the purpose of videoconferencing for an open meeting subject to the Open Meetings Act shall contain a camera and speakers of sufficient quality to permit all meeting attendees to see the individual who is using the personal computer and for the individual to hear all speaking attendees.

§209.31.Minimum Standards for Meetings Hosted from Dedicated Video Room Environment to Dedicated Video Room Environment by Institutions of Higher Education.

(a) Videoconferencing equipment used in a dedicated video room environment shall meet the below ITU standards for the respective medium of transmission:

(1) ITU H.320 or H.324 for videoconferencing over a public switched telephone network (PSTN), private line facility, or integrated switched digital network (ISDN);

(2) ITU H.323/SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) for videoconferencing over the Internet; or

(3) Proprietary vendor protocols as long as the institution of higher education has received certification from the vendor stating that the vendor's equipment and proprietary software protocol release version meet or exceed the required ITU standards.

(b) When using a computer web conferencing system at the primary dedicated video room environment site, a large monitor and adequate speakers shall be used.

(c) Audio signals from the remote dedicated video room environment(s) shall be of similar quality and volume as the local audio at the primary dedicated video room environment.

(d) At least one monitor shall be available at the primary dedicated video room environment site for the audience to easily see remote meeting participants. When using a computer web conferencing system at the primary site, a large monitor and adequate speakers shall be used. The audience and members of the institution of higher education shall have full view of at least one monitor at each meeting location. Additional monitors shall be placed, as necessary, to ensure a clear view by all in attendance.

(e) If an institution of higher education uses a dedicated video room environment for the dedicated camera and speaker equipment but is using a computer-based videoconferencing application that is not part of the proprietary dedicated video room equipment setup, then the institution of higher education must comply with all minimum standards for computer-based application software and is not subject to the requirements of a dedicated video room environment.

§209.32.Security Requirements for Open Meetings Held by Videoconference.

(a) Each institution of higher education subject to the Open Meetings Act shall review any additional internal security requirements of their institution of higher education.

(b) If 1 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 202 applies to the institution of higher education, then the institution of higher education shall ensure compliance with any information security standards promulgated regarding the transmission of data through a public or data/IP network.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on April 29, 2022.

TRD-202201698

Joshua Godbey

General Counsel

Department of Information Resources

Earliest possible date of adoption: June 12, 2022

For further information, please call: (512) 475-4552


PART 15. TEXAS HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES COMMISSION

CHAPTER 353. MEDICAID MANAGED CARE

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

1 TAC §353.8

The Executive Commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) proposes new §353.8, concerning Certification of Managed Care Organizations Prior to Contract Awards.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

The proposal implements Texas Government Code, §533.0035, added by Senate Bill 1244, 87th Legislature, Regular Session, 2021.

The proposed new rule sets out the process HHSC will use to determine whether a managed care organization (MCO) satisfies the certification requirements under Texas Government Code, §533.0035. The proposed new rule sets forth that HHSC does not award a contract to an MCO that does not receive certification and sets forth an appeal process for an MCO to appeal a denial of certification by HHSC.

Proposed new §353.8(b) sets forth that HHSC will certify an MCO following the evaluation of proposals submitted in response to a solicitation. The certification does not impact the MCO's final score, but failure to obtain certification results in no further consideration of the MCO for the contract award.

Proposed new §353.8(c) sets forth that in its certification determination, HHSC may review the material submitted by the MCO in response to the solicitation; materials related to the MCO's past performance in any state, including materials required to be monitored by a state's managed care program under 42 Code of Federal Regulations §438.66(c); and any additional information and assurances requested by HHSC from the MCO for purposes of the certification determination.

The proposed new §353.8(d) sets forth that HHSC provides notice of approval or denial of certification by electronic mail to the MCO and that a notice of denial sets forth the reasons for the denial of certification. Proposed new §353.8(d) also provides that an MCO that is denied certification may appeal the denial by submitting an appeal to the solicitation's sole point of contact no later than 10 business days after the date HHSC transmits the notice of denial of certification.

Proposed new §353.8(e) sets forth that the MCO's appeal must specifically address the reasons for the denial of the certification as stated in the denial notice and precisely state the argument, authorities, and evidence the MCO offers in support of its appeal.

Proposed new §353.8(f) sets forth how HHSC resolves an appeal by dismissing the appeal as untimely, upholding the denial of certification, or reversing the denial of certification and certifying the MCO.

Proposed new §353.8(g) sets forth that after the expiration of the appeal period and the resolution of any pending appeals, MCOs that obtained the required certification will proceed to the next phase of the contract award process.

Proposed new §353.8(h) sets forth that HHSC's determination not to certify an MCO is not a contested case proceeding under the Texas Administrative Procedure Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001.

FISCAL NOTE

Trey Wood, HHSC Chief Financial Officer, has also determined that for each year of the first five years that the rule will be in effect, enforcing or administering the rule does not have foreseeable implications relating to costs or revenues of state or local governments.

GOVERNMENT GROWTH IMPACT STATEMENT

HHSC has determined that during the first five years that the rule will be in effect:

(1) the proposed rule will not create or eliminate a government program;

(2) implementation of the proposed rule will not affect the number of HHSC employee positions;

(3) implementation of the proposed rule will result in no assumed change in future legislative appropriations;

(4) the proposed rule will not affect fees paid to HHSC;

(5) the proposed rule will create a new rule;

(6) the proposed rule will expand an existing rule;

(7) the proposed rule will not increase the number of individuals subject to the rule; and

(8) the proposed rule will not affect the state's economy.

SMALL BUSINESS, MICRO-BUSINESS, AND RURAL COMMUNITY IMPACT ANALYSIS

Trey Wood has also determined that there will be no adverse economic effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities. The rule applies to health care MCOs, none of which are classified as small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities.

LOCAL EMPLOYMENT IMPACT

The proposed rule will not affect a local economy.

COSTS TO REGULATED PERSONS

Texas Government Code §2001.0045 does not apply to this rule because the rule is necessary to implement legislation that does not specifically state that §2001.0045 applies to the rule.

PUBLIC BENEFIT AND COSTS

Stephanie Stephens, State Medicaid Director, has determined that for each year of the first five years the rule is in effect, individuals receiving services under managed care will benefit from having a rule that ensures potential MCO contract awardees are able to fulfill the terms of the contract to successfully provide the managed care services for which the awardee is chosen.

Trey Wood has also determined that for the first five years the rule is in effect, persons who are required to comply with the proposed rule may incur economic costs because the rule may require a health care MCO to alter its business practices. The proposal allows an MCO to appeal the denial of certification and may require an MCO to provide additional information and assurances to HHSC for purposes of the certification determination. However, HHSC does not have sufficient information to determine the cost to comply.

TAKINGS IMPACT ASSESSMENT

HHSC has determined that the proposal does not restrict or limit an owner's right to his or her property that would otherwise exist in the absence of government action and, therefore, does not constitute a taking under Texas Government Code §2007.043.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Written comments on the proposal may be submitted to Rules Coordination Office, P.O. Box 13247, Mail Code 4102, Austin, Texas 78711-3247, or street address 701 W. 51st Street, Austin, Texas 78751; or emailed to HHSRulesCoordinationOffice@hhs.texas.gov.

To be considered, comments must be submitted no later than 31 days after the date of this issue of the Texas Register. Comments must be (1) postmarked or shipped before the last day of the comment period; (2) hand-delivered before 5:00 p.m. on the last working day of the comment period; or (3) emailed before midnight on the last day of the comment period. If last day to submit comments falls on a holiday, comments must be postmarked, shipped, or emailed before midnight on the following business day to be accepted. When emailing comments, please indicate "Comments on Proposed Rule 22R049" in the subject line.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The new section is authorized by Texas Government Code §531.0055, which provides that the Executive Commissioner of HHSC shall adopt rules for the operation and provision of services by the health and human services agencies, and §531.033, which provides the Executive Commissioner of HHSC with broad rulemaking authority.

The new section implements Texas Government Code §533.0035.

§353.8.Certification of Managed Care Organizations Prior to Contract Awards.

(a) As provided by §533.0035 of the Texas Government Code, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) awards a contract under Chapter 533 of the Texas Government Code to a managed care organization (MCO) only if the MCO has been certified by HHSC as reasonably able to fulfill the terms of the contract, including all requirements of applicable federal and state law.

(b) HHSC determines whether to certify an MCO following the evaluation of the proposals submitted in response to a solicitation. Certification and the certification determination process described in this section do not impact an MCO's final score in the evaluation, but failure to obtain certification results in no further consideration of the MCO for the contract award.

(c) In its certification determination, HHSC may review:

(1) materials submitted by the MCO in response to the solicitation;

(2) materials related to the MCO's past performance in any state, including materials required to be monitored by a state's managed care program under 42 C.F.R. §438.66(c); and

(3) any additional information and assurances requested by HHSC from the MCO for purposes of the certification determination.

(d) HHSC provides notice of approval or denial of certification by electronic mail to an MCO. A notice of denial sets forth the reasons for the denial of certification. If an MCO is denied certification, the MCO may appeal the denial by submitting an appeal to the solicitation's sole point of contact no later than 10 business days after the date HHSC transmits the notice of denial of certification.

(e) An appeal must specifically address the reasons for the denial of the certification as stated in the notice of denial and precisely state the argument, authorities, and evidence the MCO offers in support of its appeal.

(f) To resolve an appeal, HHSC:

(1) dismisses the appeal as untimely;

(2) upholds the denial of certification; or

(3) reverses the denial of certification and certifies the MCO as reasonably able to fulfill the terms of the contract, including all requirements of applicable federal and state law.

(g) After the expiration of the appeal period and the resolution of any pending appeals, MCOs that obtained the required certification will proceed to the next phase of the contract award process.

(h) HHSC's determination whether to certify that an MCO is reasonably able to fulfill the terms of a contract is not a contested case proceeding under the Texas Administrative Procedure Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on April 28, 2022.

TRD-202201679

Karen Ray

Chief Counsel

Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Earliest possible date of adoption: June 12, 2022

For further information, please call: (512) 487-3373