The Joint Training program is a bi-annual conference to educate surveyors and providers on topic areas identified by DHS. Each training has a component based on the top deficiencies in Texas. The first joint training conference was in March 2002 and the focus was on restraints, fall prevention, pharmacy, and incontinence. The next conference was scheduled for October 2002.
The Joint Training Program is carried out under "LTC Regulatory," the DHS division that is also responsible for the LTC survey. The legislature funded the state's share of this program by transferring 16 FTEs from the survey function to the new program. While some joint training has occurred for several years, a legislative mandate in SB 1839 formalized the program and made it more accountable to the legislature The legislation required at least two trainings per year. The joint training staff found this to be inadequate since not all staff could attend the trainings at one time, so the joint training staff are exceeding legislative requirements, and are holding the two required trainings at multiple times in multiple sites.