Monthly Archives - February 2017

What is the role of STAR Kids Service Coordinators?

A Service Coordinator is the central contact between Texas Children’s Health Plan and a member’s providers and family members. The purpose of a Service Coordinator is to maximize a Member’s health, wellbeing and independence. The Service Coordinator must work with the Member’s PCP to coordinate all of a member’s health services. The STAR Kids Service Coordinator also engages as an advocate and intervenes on behalf of the member if approved by the member. The Service Coordinator will perform an overall [...]

AAP Strongly Advises Against Codeine for Children

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recently released a Clinical Report strongly advising against codeine use in children. The rationale of the AAP is as follows: “Codeine is a prodrug with little inherent pharmacologic activity and must be metabolized in the liver into morphine, which is responsible for codeine’s analgesic effects. However, there is substantial genetic variability in the activity of the responsible hepatic enzyme, CYP2D6, and, as a consequence, individual patient response to codeine varies from no effect [...]

Know When to Prescribe an Antiviral

Vaccination Flu season is back and vaccinating continues to be the best way to protect ourselves and our patients against serious complications from the flu.[1] Patients should only receive the intramuscular vaccine; intranasal flu vaccine is not effective for the 2016-2017 flu season.1 Patients 17 and younger should be offered the flu vaccine during office visits, while those 18 years and older also have the option of receiving it at pharmacies. Treatment (Antiviral and Supportive) Patients who are high risk for complications [...]

Screening for Maternal Depression – Essential to Child Well Being

Effective January 1, 2017, Texas Children’s Health Plan will reimburse providers for maternal depression screening conducted at a well-child visit. Postpartum depression screening utilizing the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale may be reimbursed up to 2 times per member ages 0-6 months, using CPT code 96161. Code 96161 is used to report the use of a standardized instrument to screen for health risks in the caregiver for the benefit of the patient. The reimbursement for this code will be based [...]

Provider Alert!

Provider Alert! Prior Authorization required on all Vendor Drug Program (VDP) identified medications

Attention: Star Kids Providers Subject: Reminder: Prior Authorization required on all Vendor Drug Program (VDP) identified medications Texas Children’s Health Plan requires prior authorization (PA) on certain medications per the VDP website prior to dispensing to members. To obtain a list of medications requiring prior authorization, visit the VDP website at: Providers can also view instructions on accessing and using the formulary at the Texas Children’s Health Plan website: Providers can submit PA documentation to Texas Children’s Health Plan’s pharmacy benefit manager, [...]

Provider Alert!

Provider Alert! Prior Authorization for Sleep Studies

Effective February 1, 2017 Texas Children's Health Plan will require prior authorization on all sleep studies in children ages 18 and under. Claims for services on or after February 1, 2017 will be denied if no authorization is present. Please contact Texas Children's Health Plan Provider Relations at 1-800-731-8527, or visit the Texas Children's Health Plan Provider portal at for a copy of the guidelines utilized to determine medical necessity for sleep studies in children.

HEDIS Spotlight: Prenatal / Postpartum Care

HEDIS stands for Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set. It is a widely used set of performance measures by the nation’s health plans, and an essential tool in ensuring that our members are getting the best healthcare possible. It is extremely important that our providers understand the HEDIS® specifications and guidelines. In this section of The Checkup we will highlight different HEDIS metrics. We will provide a description of the measures, the correct billing codes to support services rendered [...]

Provider Alert!

Provider Alert! Reminder on ability to bank respite hours for MDCP members

Attention: All STAR Kids Providers February 1st 2017 Subject: Reminder on ability to bank respite hours for MDCP members Texas Children’s Health Plan would like to remind all STAR Kids providers who are providing respite care to members of the standards around respite care hours and how Texas Children’s Health Plan manages these hours. The information below is directly from HHSC and is the guidance Texas Children’s Health Plan follows for determining respite care. Please always contact either Texas Children’ Health [...]