R.   SPEECH AND LANGUAGE SERVICES

R1. Is a MD referral required for speech therapy?

Effective 9/1/2003, SHARS requirements allow for either a medical practitioner or a licensed practitioner of the healing arts to provide the referral for speech therapy. Licensed speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are considered licensed practitioners of the healing arts.  The speech therapy evaluation and recommendation by the SLP may be considered the referral.

R2. How often must a referral for speech therapy be obtained?

Referrals are generally good for 3 years. This is based on the 3 year revaluation time required by school districts under IDEA. According to this requirement, the re- evaluation can occur more frequently than the 3-year evaluation timeline.  For example, if an evaluation or reevaluation results in a change in the Plan of Care for services, then that means a new prescription/referral is required.

R3. Who can bill for services under speech-language pathology?

Effective September 1, 2006, under the new SHARS State Plan language, speech therapy services under the SHARS program can be provided by speech/language pathologist (SLP), American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certified SLP with Texas license, ASHA-equivalent SLP, a TEA certified SLP, a SLP assistant licensed by the state or a grandfathered SLP when the assistant is acting under the supervision or direction of a qualified SLP.

 See also Billing Guidelines on the TEA website (refer to the billing guidelines section), and the current TMPPM section on SHARS.

R4. May individuals without a master’s degree who were “grandfathered” to meet state requirements as licensed speech language pathologist receive reimbursement for their services?

Yes, as long as they are supervised by an ASHA or ASHA-equivalent SLP.

 See also Billing Guidelines on the TEA website (refer to the billing guidelines section), and the current TMPPM section on SHARS.

R5. Can individuals with a master’s degree in speech pathology who were “grandfathered” to meet state requirements as licensed speech language pathologist supervise others?

Yes. An SLP with a grandfathered Texas license and a master’s degree is considered an ASHA-equivalent SLP and can supervise speech therapy providers that are not ASHA or ASHA-equivalent SLPs.

See also the current TMPPM section on SHARS.

R6. A district has a TEA certified Speech Therapist on the RMTS PL for part of the year and is replaced with an ASHA-certified SLP, but the PL did not reflect this change, can both salaries be claimed on the Cost Report under the Speech Therapist?

Yes, both salaries can be claimed on the cost report under the one speech therapist position. It is allowable because both providers have the appropriate certification and/or licensure, allowing them to provide the same services.

R7. Can a licensed speech-language pathology assistant bill for SHARS reimbursement?

SLP assistants must be supervised by an ASHA or ASHA-equivalent SLP in order for a school district to bill for services provided by SLP assistants.

R8. Can SLP interns bill for their services?

Yes. SLP interns must be supervised by an ASHA or ASHA-equivalent SLP in order for a school district to bill for services provided by SLP interns.

R9. Can TEA certified SLP bill for SHARS reimbursement?

Yes, TEA certified SLPs supervised by an ASHA or ASHA-equivalent SLP can bill for SHARS reimbursement.

 See also Billing Guidelines on the TEA website (refer to the billing guidelines section), and the current TMPPM section on SHARS.