Texas Therapy HHSC TRO/Injunction Hearing Postponed and the Real Reasons Behind the New Therapy Benefits Policies

The hearing in the Travis County TX District Courts to decide on the therapy TRO-to-temporary injunction status against TX HHSC has been postponed until Wednesday, 08/26/2015. This comes as no surprise as the courts have had a large caseload and the parties involved are holding large amounts of information in their dealings with each other – nearly 2,300 documents of which one was the alleged redo of the therapy rate reduction proposal from TX HHSC.

To the point of the new proposal from TX HHSC on therapy benefits policies, the real hit comes to home health therapy services because the bar to prove medical and home-bound healthcare necessity was raised, as well as billing in timed units. In terms of equating untimed to timed units codes and billing, home health therapists would now have to service a beneficiary for at least 53 minutes to recover a full untimed code reimbursement. Because of these added obstacles to home therapy care, there may be more legal wrangling to come with respect to these therapy benefits policies. The public hearing scheduled for these policy changes in Austin on 8/31/2015 can produce quite different takes on these issues and once more, present with a division within the therapy services industry in Texas and elsewhere. More directly, adding these restrictions to the benefits policy changes, more than therapy stakeholders had suggested earlier in their talks with TX HHSC, may add another schism in the industry between therapy delivery models – a divide and conquer strategy.