Public Policy Agenda Adds Scope of Practice, Demonstration of Value Two new advocacy issues—scope of practice and demonstrating the value and quality of speech-language and audiology services—join the list of federal and state issues on ASHA’s 2015 public policy agenda. The Government Relations and Public Policy Board and ASHA staff developed the agenda, which sets the blueprint for advocacy activities, ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   December 01, 2014
Public Policy Agenda Adds Scope of Practice, Demonstration of Value
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Practice Management / Professional Issues & Training / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   December 01, 2014
Public Policy Agenda Adds Scope of Practice, Demonstration of Value
The ASHA Leader, December 2014, Vol. 19, 58. doi:10.1044/leader.AN1.19122014.58
The ASHA Leader, December 2014, Vol. 19, 58. doi:10.1044/leader.AN1.19122014.58
Two new advocacy issues—scope of practice and demonstrating the value and quality of speech-language and audiology services—join the list of federal and state issues on ASHA’s 2015 public policy agenda.
The Government Relations and Public Policy Board and ASHA staff developed the agenda, which sets the blueprint for advocacy activities, with input from more than 2,400 responses to a survey of ASHA members.
The 14 broad issues on the agenda are not ranked, giving ASHA staff flexibility to address events and legislation as they arise.
Federal level
Federal advocacy will focus on Medicare issues and federal education legislation. ASHA continues to advocate for equitable Medicare reimbursement for audiologists and speech-language pathologists and for coverage of services and devices; an alternative payment policy for outpatient therapy services; and a comprehensive audiology benefit.
Advocacy on education legislation will focus on reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act; funding for speech, language, literacy, and hearing services and devices in all federal legislation; consistent language and common terminology—including the term “highest qualified provider”—in ESEA and IDEA legislation; and including audiologists and SLPs in federal literacy policies and the Higher Education Act.
Federal/state level
Several issues require efforts at the federal and state levels:
  • Funding and practice issues for school-based and early intervention services.

  • Coverage of hearing health care services and devices.

  • Medicaid reimbursement and coverage policies.

  • Affordable Care Act implementation.

  • Private health plan reimbursement and coverage policies.

  • Telepractice reimbursement and standards.

  • Loan forgiveness legislation.

  • Protection of audiologists’ and SLPs scopes of practice.

  • Demonstration of the value and quality of speech-language and audiology services.

State level
The public policy agenda includes several issues to be addressed at the state level: support for comprehensive licensure in all states; adoption of model licensing language and implementation of a service continuum that defines the credentials and competency requirement for the professions and assistants; and support for the use of audiologists and SLPs as state consultants.
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December 2014
Volume 19, Issue 12