Proposed Bill Would Require Tricare to Reimburse for Hippotherapy

April 28, 2013
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Rick Gawenda
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On April 24, 2013, Rep Michael Burgess (R-TX) introduced the Rehabilitative Therapy Parity for Military Beneficiaries Act (HR 1705). The pertinent part of the law reads as follows: “(g) Rehabilitative therapy provided pursuant to subsection (a)(17) may include additional therapeutic exercises or therapeutic activities if such exercises or activities are included in the authorized individual plan of care of the individual receiving such therapy. Such exercises or activities may include, in addition to other therapeutic exercises or therapeutic activities, therapies provided on a horse, balance board, ball, bolster, and bench”.

“Every patient is different, has a different set of needs, and therefore may respond very differently to various types of therapy,” Burgess stated. “Ensuring access to needed services is critical for patients to maintain, improve, or regain function.” The bill’s language, which bolsters the argument that a horse, like a ball or balance board, is simply a tool the physical or occupational therapist uses and not an alternative form of therapy.


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