Florida Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists Website: www.flasha.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/91079676786 Established: 1958 Members: 800 Contact: Barbara Beatty, executive director, info@flasha.org; Vivian H. Topp, president, vtopp@flasha.org FLASHA has established an excellent Advocacy Network for members. The Statewide Medicaid Managed Act rolled out in Florida in March 2014. We had been researching the effects ... State Spotlight
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State Spotlight  |   March 01, 2015
Florida Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists
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Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Early Identification & Intervention / Practice Management / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / State Spotlight
State Spotlight   |   March 01, 2015
Florida Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists
The ASHA Leader, March 2015, Vol. 20, 66. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.20032015.66
The ASHA Leader, March 2015, Vol. 20, 66. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.20032015.66
Established: 1958
Members: 800
Contact: Barbara Beatty, executive director, info@flasha.org; Vivian H. Topp, president, vtopp@flasha.org
How are you making a difference in your members’ professional lives?
FLASHA has established an excellent Advocacy Network for members. The Statewide Medicaid Managed Act rolled out in Florida in March 2014. We had been researching the effects of SMMA since 2013. However, with the start of the program, we needed to provide constant information updates. We used a multipronged approach to reach our members: e-blasts, articles in our FLASHA FORUM, articles on our website, and FLASHAMMA—a special interest group on Yahoo. We also posted information on our Facebook page and on Twitter to help members make the changes required to continue to see their clients. With help from an ASHA grant, we acquired ENGAGE, a program that allows members to contact their specific state legislators regarding issues related to Medicaid pay increases, telepractice, licensure fees and neonatal hearing screening.
What is the most significant challenge, unique circumstance or pressing frustration facing communication sciences and disorders professionals in your state today?
The Medicaid pay scale for speech-language pathologists in the state continues to be one of the lowest in the nation. FLASHA was fortunate to have the support of a key state legislator, Rep. Ritch Workman, who was largely responsible for a 5-percent increase in the base Medicaid fee-for-service rates in 2014—the first raise in more than 20 years!
What is your association’s proudest accomplishment?
There have been many, including legislation to provide universal neonatal hearing screenings to Florida’s newborns. This year, however, we developed a direct line of communication for our members to the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration. We have Rep. Workman to thank for making the introductions, but FLASHA members have been diligent in communicating with AHCA on a variety of issues related to people with communication and hearing impairments and their families.
And, of course, we were the host association for the ASHA convention last November. We celebrated in style at our reception, the FLASHA Fiesta!
What is a particularly memorable event in your association’s history and how did it come about?
We are proud to have successfully recruited the Florida Physical Therapy Association and the Florida Occupational Therapy Association to join our grassroots advocacy efforts on behalf of Medicaid recipients. In December, representatives from the three associations met together with AHCA and the insurance companies involved in the administration of Medicaid benefits to children in the state. The constructive conversation resulted in a base for continued dialogue and input from our members to the different insurance plans.
Do you have a particularly successful advocacy or recruitment strategy to share?
Make it personal! Our best recruitment efforts involve phone calls, written communications and face-to-face conversations. We attempt to answer every question sent or asked by members and nonmembers.
What should every communication sciences and disorders professional in your state know about the association?
FLASHA is a proactive professional association with imagination, energy and great members. We have multiple resources and are large enough to be “reckoned with” but personal enough to remember your name.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
March 2015
Volume 20, Issue 3