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

December 23, 2021

The following Community Living Assistance and Support Services 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

This is effective March 15, 2020 through Jan. 31, 2022, unless the COVID public health emergency ends sooner. HHSC will provide guidance if anything changes.

The Office of Civil Rights has relaxed HIPAA requirements to 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. The revision of therapy hours must be added to an individual plan of care and authorized by HHSC per the process outlined in  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 the program policy inbox with questions.