The Texas Unified Licensure Information Portal (TULIP) is state’s web-based licensure system for the Health and Humans Services Commission (HHSC). TULIP was designed for licensed long-term care facilities and agencies, plus nurse facility administrators (collectively referred to as “providers”) to more efficiently perform a number of required licensure activities, including licensure applications and renewals, updates to licensure information, submitting electronic payments, and reporting abuse, neglect and exploitation (including self-reporting) to the HHSC. TULIP also provides electronic access to the status of provider’s licensure information. The Texas HHSC Credentialing Unit also relies on TULIP for its work processing applications, renewals and licensures of long-term care providers.
This new system was introduced in 2018. Since that time there have been system enhancements to extend the use of TULIP for increased efficiency. Most recently, on February 14 2022, the HHSC issued an announcement that the agency’s Long-term Care Regulation (LTCR) Credentialing Unit was making enhancements to TULIP to include online licensure functions for nursing facility administrators (NFAs), certified nurse aides (CNA), medication aides (MA), and Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Programs (NATCEP). The first phase of this expanded use of TULIP was focused on NFAs and would allow all NFA licensing and application functions to be completed online.
The NFA online licensing system was shut down February 11, 2022. The go-live date for NFA-related enhancements to TULIP was scheduled for February 28, 2022. NFAs were required to use TULIP for all application activities beginning on February 28, 2022. NFA applications not approved prior to the February 11, 2022 were electronically transitioned to TULIP for processing. On Friday, March 11, 2022, HHSC sent out a notice that the system was online and functional.
Unfortunately, the HHSC has experienced recent difficulties with the TULIP enhancements. Ongoing barriers have been experienced by both NFAs and HHSC staff in utilization of the new system and have resulted in processing delays due to ongoing limited functionality.
On March 15, 2022, the HHSC issued a notification that it is extending the NFA licensure grace period so that these providers are not disadvantaged by the TULIP system barriers. Therefore, all Nursing Facility Administrator licenses active on February 11, 2022 will be considered active until 60 days following full implementation of the new system. HHSC will send out a notice once the system is fully implemented. All NFAs are still required to submit renewals and associated documents through the new credentialing system while the TULIP challenges are addressed and resolved.