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COVID-19 Update to Telehealth Guidance on CLASS Professional and Specialized Therapies

Last updated on 7/27/2021

Effective March 15, 2020 through August 31, 2021, the following Community Living Assistance and Support Services Case Management Agencies (CLASS) professional and specialized therapy services are temporarily available by telehealth:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech and language pathology
  • Recreational therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Behavior support
  • Dietary services
  • Cognitive rehabilitation therapy

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has relaxed HIPAA requirements. They now allow video for telehealth services. Texas Medicaid recognizes OCR's HIPAA enforcement discretion for telehealth platform requirements.
Therapies must have a treatment plan. The goals and outcomes must support being provided through telehealth. Revision of therapy hours may be added to an individual plan of care (IPC) and authorized by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) per the process outlined in the information letter (IL) 2020-46 (PDF).

Acceptable telehealth formats are synchronous audiovisual interaction or asynchronous store and forward technology. Use these with synchronous audio interaction between the client and the distant site provider.
Therapies not eligible for delivery by telehealth are:

  • Massage therapy
  • Hippotherapy
  • Therapeutic horseback riding
  • Aquatic therapy

Email your program policy mailbox with questions about this alert.