March 26, 2020 | Austin, Texas | Press Release
Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has submitted a Section 1135 Medicaid Waiver to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). If approved, this would grant Texas flexibility in administering Medicaid while the state continues to respond to COVID-19.
“The flexibilities we are requesting will help ensure Texans on Medicaid continue to have their routine needs met, even as the state responds to COVID-19,” said Governor Abbott. “I ask CMS to grant this waiver so that we can expand care capacity for Texans who utilize services through Medicaid.”
If approved, the federal flexibilities would include:
- Temporarily extending existing prior authorizations for services so that Texans can get the care they need without delay.
- Extending deadlines for state fair hearings and appeals.
- Allowing services to be performed by telehealth, telemedicine, or telephonic contact.
- Extending current medical necessity, service authorizations, and level of care authorizations for Medicaid programs.
- Allowing the state to waive any requirements that require the signature of a physician, durable medical equipment provider, or Medicaid recipient.
- Streamlining provider enrollment for out-of-state and new providers to increase the number of providers in Texas, which will ensure continued access to care.
- Waiving requirements that health care professionals be licensed in the state in which they are providing services, so long as they have equivalent licensing in another state.
HHSC will also be seeking additional regulatory flexibilities through the Section 1135 Medicaid waiver related to federal requirements for long-term care providers, intermediate care facilities, home and community-based services programs, and hospitals.
If granted, this Section 1135 Medicaid waiver flexibilities would remain in place for as long as necessary during the public health emergency.