Governor Abbott Announces HHSC Request Of 1135 Medicaid Waiver

(STL.News) – 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


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