TAMFT Legislative Update

TAMFT Legislative Update: Governor Abbott, HHSC Extend Flexibilities for Medicaid, CHIP Providers During COVID-19 Response

Governor Greg Abbott last week announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is extending flexibilities to Medicaid and CHIP recipients and providers through October 23, 2020, as the state continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. These flexibilities will minimize face-to-face interactions and ensure continuity of care for clients during the COVID-19 response.

Many services are being provided to clients using telemedicine and telehealth including medical, behavioral health, case management, professional and specialized therapy services, and certain components of Texas Health Steps medical check-ups.

Flexibilities extended through October 23, 2020, include:

  • Appeals and fair hearings: Extends timelines for clients to request an appeal fair hearing and allows clients to request an appeal verbally.
  • Face-to-face requirements: Suspends face-to-face service coordination, case management visits, and utilization review home visits for Medicaid clients. All managed care plans must use telehealth for service coordination and service planning to ensure clients are receiving needed services.
  • Provider enrollment requirements: Suspends requirements that out-of-state providers be licensed in the state where they are providing services when they are licensed in another state; and allows licensed providers to render services outside of their state of enrollment.
  • Assessments: Extends certain assessments and service plans.
  • Telemedicine and telehealth: Allows certain services to be delivered remotely.
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