The purpose of this information letter is to inform HCS program providers that the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) is changing how it determines whether a program provider is in compliance with the DADS Waiver Survey and Certification Residential Checklist, regarding the hot water temperature. In accordance with Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 40, §9.171(i), DADS uses this checklist, found at www.dads.state.tx.us., when conducting visits of each residence in which host home/companion care, residential support, or supervised living is provided. This information letter also provides information about the time period in which residential visits are conducted and dates on which residential visits are not conducted.
Hot Water Temperatures
In accordance with 40 TAC, §9.173(b) (26), an HCS program provider must protect and promote the right of an individual “to live free from abuse neglect, or exploitation in a healthful, comfortable and safe environment.” To that end, as part of a residential visit, DADS residential reviewers check the temperature of the hot water in each residence in which host home/companion care is provided and in each three-person or four-person residence to ensure that the hot water is set at a safe temperature and will not burn an individual living in the residence. Until recently, residential reviewers would measure the hot water temperature by touch and sight (observing for steam rising out of hot water while fully turned on). DADS determined that this method of measuring water temperature is subjective and results in inconsistent conclusions among reviewers.
To ensure consistent determination of water temperature, DADS residential reviewers, as of October 1, 2014, began using laser thermometers to ensure that the hot water temperature does not exceed 117 degrees. This water temperature is within the safety range recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Visit us at Garlo Ward, PC.