New National Definition Broadens SLPs’ Scope of Practice The organization that defines health care provider type—and thus influences providers’ ability to bill certain services—has broadened the definition of health care speech-language pathologists to include swallowing and cognition services. The definition is important to SLPs who register as independent providers under Medicare or who take part in health care ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   November 01, 2014
New National Definition Broadens SLPs’ Scope of Practice
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Practice Management / Professional Issues & Training / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   November 01, 2014
New National Definition Broadens SLPs’ Scope of Practice
The ASHA Leader, November 2014, Vol. 19, 11. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB2.19112014.11
The ASHA Leader, November 2014, Vol. 19, 11. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB2.19112014.11
The organization that defines health care provider type—and thus influences providers’ ability to bill certain services—has broadened the definition of health care speech-language pathologists to include swallowing and cognition services.
The definition is important to SLPs who register as independent providers under Medicare or who take part in health care transactions—including claims for reimbursement—covered under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Under HIPAA, all providers must have a National Provider Identifier. The NPI is based on definitions established by the National Uniform Claim Committee, an organization chaired by the American Medical Association that partners with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and other stakeholders to develop, adopt or modify national standards for health care transactions. Before the change, the NUCC Health Care Provider Taxonomy data set recognized only the speech and language aspects of SLPs’ scope of practice.
After ASHA members expressed billing concerns, ASHA applied for a revision. The revised definition reads: “The speech-language pathologist is the professional who engages in clinical services, prevention, advocacy, education, administration, and research in the areas of communication and swallowing across the life span from infancy through geriatrics. Speech-language pathologists address typical and atypical impairs and disorders related to communication and swallowing in the areas of speech sound production, resonance, voice, fluency, language (comprehension and expression), cognition, and feeding and swallowing.”
The NUCC taxonomy code may not be identical to terminology used by Medicare and other health plans in their credentialing process, and it is not intended as a measure of an individual’s qualifications. It is, however, the only code set that can be used for HIPAA-covered transactions, and this new definition allows SLPs to advocate with payers for the full scope of services they are qualified to provide, provided they have the education and experience to ethically perform the services.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
November 2014
Volume 19, Issue 11