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

January 25, 2022

The following CLASS professional and specialized temporary therapy services are still available by telehealth as a COVID-19 flexibility.

  • Recreational therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Behavior support
  • Dietary services
  • Cognitive rehabilitation therapy

This is effective March 15, 2020 through April 30, 2022. HHSC will provide guidance on 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 use of telehealth for therapies must support the goals and outcomes included in the treatment plan.

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

In response to COVID-19, HHSC permitted PT, OT, and SLP provided in CLASS can be delivered using telehealth. The temporary policy is ending as a COVID-19 flexibility. But HHSC is issuing related interim guidance allowing telehealth delivery of these therapy services. Access the Information Letter No. 2022-08, HB4: Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy Services Delivered by Synchronous Audio-Visual.

Email the CLASS policy mailbox with questions about this alert.