Testing Experience and Functional Assessment Tools (TEFT)

The "Testing Experience and Functional Tools in Community-Based Long Term Services and Supports" (TEFT) program is an initiative of the federal Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS).

In March 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded TEFT grants to nine states to test quality measurement tools and demonstrate e-health in Medicaid community-based long term services and supports (CB-LTSS).  It is noteworthy that, of these nine states, Colorado is the only state presently working in all four aspects of the TEFT concept laid out by CMS (see below).

Colorado's grant program, spanning four years through March 2018, is called the "Demonstration Grant for Testing Experience and Functional Assessment Tools (TEFT) in Community-Based Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS)."  This grant program is working through the field testing of an experience of communications survey, demonstration of the personal health record, refinement of the functional and assessment items and creation of a standard electronic LTSS record.

This is the first-time CMS is promoting the use of health information technology (HIT) in Care Based-LTSS systems.  TEFT will provide national measures and valuable feedback on how health information technology (HIT) can be implemented as a collaborative effort of evolving standards in this component of the Medicaid program.

The TEFT grant program will provide national measures and valuable feedback on how health information technology can be implemented in this component of the Medicaid system within the State of Colorado.

As developed by CMS, the TEFT grant pilot initiative addresses the program’s four main components:

  • Experience of Care (EoC)
    • Now called the CAHPS Survey, looks at determining the most efficient modalities of interactive communications and interactions with waiver recipients for eligibility intake determination, evaluation of client experience and national results sharing forum. Because of Departmental needs toward business procedures and client based operations, Colorado will be using the National Core Indicators - Aging and Disabilities (NCI-AD) while serving the same basic purpose as the EoC.
       
  • Personal Health Record (PHR)
    • This component of the TEFT grant is designated to design an IT system platform standard that incorporates a waiver recipient’s individualized health records from multiple sources into one location. The PHR and its content are directly controlled by the client. The system platform will provide a secure, user-based system login for viewing the client’s relevant topics, personalized information on Benefits, Providers, CM and others contact information, Pharma, Admit-Discharge-Transfer, FASI and eLTSS based data and industry standards for waiver and medical history archival.  This is further accomplished by integrating the client specific BUS data demographics, assessment data and support plan information.

TEFT Denver Regional Focus Group Presentation - April 4, 2017

Quality Health Network Western Slope Focus Group Presentation - June 2017

Department TEFT PHR Focus Group Presentation - June 2017

  • Functional Assessment Standardized Items (FASI)
    • The FASI field test will examine the reliability of the FASI dataset for people served in Medicaid community-based long-term services and supports programs. CMS endorsed. Round 1 is assessment reliability and Round 2 will be support plan development with refined eligibility thresholds, eventually replacing the ULTC 100.2 (3-4 years). The final pilot work planned for 2017-2018, will be in the automation of the FASI eligibility assessment and other LTSS and DIDD Assessments into digital format and incorporation into the eLTSS record system.

      The new LTSS Assessment Tool, currently under development (including extensive stakeholder input), will ultimately replace the assessment tool currently being used (the ULTC 100.2).  The new assessment tool will greatly improve the eligibility process for Medicaid LTSS programs and benefits.  This new tool will be unique, in that it will focus on developing person-centered individual support plans, enhancing self-direction, and is expected to facilitate greater coordination of services.  It will play an important role in improving the quality of services and supports, especially from the perspective of the individual. Finally, the new tool will be equally applicable to adults with disabilities and children.  For more information, please see the Colorado Assessment Tool Blog.

       
  • Electronic Long Term Services and Supports (eLTSS)
    • This project looks to drive the core client record content and standardized data elements. With the development integration of the PHR and FASI, this initiative is driven by the requirements of CMS’s Testing Experience and Functional Tools (TEFT) in community-based long-term services and supports (CB-LTSS) Planning and Demonstration. Part of the focus is also on the automation of Case Management system and operational workflows, with a person-centeredness approach in parallel with the nationally recognized standards development.  For more information, please see the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) eLTSS Homepage.