09 April 2020 – Certain telehealth restrictions lifted to expand telehealth options

Type of Intervention: Specific Action
Sectors Involved: Health
Intervention Categories: Legal and policy; Regulatory change; New initiatives
Level of Jurisdiction: Texas
Lead People/Agency: Governor Greg Abbott

Overview: Governor Greg Abbott has temporarily waived a series of regulations to lift certain telehealth restrictions and expand telehealth options as Texas responds to COVID-19. These waivers will allow a smart phone or any audio-visual, real-time, or two-way interactive communication system to qualify as a telecommunications technology that can be used to provide certain telehealth services. These waivers apply to speech-language pathologists and audiologists, behavior analysts, hearing instrument fitters and dispensers, and dyslexia therapists and practitioners.
Full details here: https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-waives-regulations-expands-telehealth-options

Type of Justification: Advice of EXTERNAL expert advisor or advisory committee
Evidence/Justification: As the State of Texas works to limit the spread of COVID-19, we also want to make sure that Texans have access to the health services they rely on, said Governor Abbott. “By temporarily waiving these regulations and expanding telehealth options, more Texans will be able to access the care they need while still following social distancing practices.”