Therapist Assistant Pay Rule Hearing Recap


By Elyse Fulton posted Apr 13,2017 06:12 PM


Representatives from home care agencies specializing Medicaid therapy services gathered at Texas Health & Human Services (HHS) on Wednesday, April 12, to give testimony on the proposed rule to reduce the reimbursement rates for therapy assistants to 70 percent of the rate paid to a licensed therapist.

The hearing room held over 100 individuals who had traveled to Austin to testify on the proposed rule including dozens of members from the Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice (TAHC&H). Testifying on behalf of TAHC&H was J.R. Top, Research & Policy Specialist, whose testimony can be read here. TAHC&H is opposed to the rule based on its potentially negative effects on access to care for rural and Spanish speaking populations, its business impacts which have not been studied by HHS, and the rule's broad and subjective language.

Noteworthy to the merit of the proposed rule is current opposition from prominent state legislators. The Texas Legislature's directive which gave rise to the therapy cost containment, Rider 50 from the 2015 Texas Legislative Session, is currently being revisited by legislators in the current 2017 Texas Legislative Session. Texas House Appropriations Committee Chairman, Dr. John Zerwas (R-Katy), has stated on public record his opposition to the state moving forward with the proposed rule while lawmakers are in the process of revisiting Rider 50.
J.R. Top, Research & Policy Analyst at TAHC&H, testified on the proposed rule on behalf of the association. Listen to his testimony here, beginning at minute 42:00.

TAHC&H is proud of all our members who made their voice heard at the proposed rule hearing, which was recorded here. For those who could not attend the hearing, there is still time to submit written comments by Friday, April 21. Please refer to these talking points when writing your testimony.

Please send your written comments by Friday, April 21 to:
Mail:         c/o Megan Wolfe,
                 Acute Care, Rate Analysis Department
                 Texas Health and Human Services Commission
                 P.O. Box 149030, MC-H400
                 Austin, Texas 78714-9030
Fax:         (512) 730-7475