State Issues in the Spotlight at Policy Workshop, State Leadership Meeting State leaders gathered in the sunny Southwest last month to attend educational sessions, compare notes and brainstorm strategies on issues in their states at the joint meeting that included ASHA's State Policy Workshop and the annual meeting of the Council of State Association Presidents (CSAP). The state policy workshop-ASHA's 20th-drew ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   June 01, 2004
State Issues in the Spotlight at Policy Workshop, State Leadership Meeting
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Practice Management / Professional Issues & Training / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / ASHA News & Member Stories / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   June 01, 2004
State Issues in the Spotlight at Policy Workshop, State Leadership Meeting
The ASHA Leader, June 2004, Vol. 9, 3-13. doi:10.1044/leader.AN.09122004.3
The ASHA Leader, June 2004, Vol. 9, 3-13. doi:10.1044/leader.AN.09122004.3
State leaders gathered in the sunny Southwest last month to attend educational sessions, compare notes and brainstorm strategies on issues in their states at the joint meeting that included ASHA's State Policy Workshop and the annual meeting of the Council of State Association Presidents (CSAP).
The state policy workshop-ASHA's 20th-drew 64 participants from 35 states to Albuquerque on May 13-14 to discuss links between national and state policies, advocacy strategies, activities underway in various states, and available ASHA resources.
Kate Gottfred, vice president for governmental and social policies, and Jim Potter, director of government relations and public policy, opened the workshop with a discussion of ASHA's 2004 Public Policy Agenda and Focused Initiative activities. Three breakout sessions followed. Charlie Diggs, director of state and consumer advocacy described how state licensing laws and regulations could be changed to conform to the requirements for ASHA's Certificates of Clinical Competence (CCC) that take effect on Jan. 1, 2005. Marie Ireland, a supervising speech-language pathologist from Virginia, described the program of staff training, recognition, and salary supplement that she initiated in her local district to improve recruitment and retention of qualified SLPs.
During a session on state and national association cooperation, ASHA President Larry Higdon and Ann Alexander, former chair of the Joint Committee on State-National Association Relations, highlighted the advocacy portion of ASHA's web site-the “Take Action” -site on www.asha.org listed in the legislation/advocacy section, to which a new state section has been added. This interactive site makes it easy for members to write to members of Congress and statehouses on key professional issues.
New Mexico Rep. Ray Begaye offered participants his inside suggestions on influencing the legislative process. He noted the importance of maintaining contact with legislators between sessions by inviting your legislators to your workplace, making them feel welcome, and maintaining an ongoing relationship. Steve White, director of health care economics, ended the day with a presentation on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement trends, emphasizing how procedural codes and reimbursement rates for audiology and speech-language pathology are established.
The following day participants exchanged ideas about ASHA with Arlene Pietranton, ASHA's executive director, and Higdon. The meeting closed with roundtable discussions on topics selected by the workshop attendees whose top concerns included speech-language pathology assistants (SLPAs), Medicaid, private health plans, and school issues. At each roundtable, participants described situations they had faced, heard suggestions from colleagues, and learned about related ASHA activities.
At the SLPA roundtable, ASHA staff shared information on technical changes that are being made to ASHA guidelines on training and supervision of SLPAs and on a new document, currently under development, that will provide guidance for services “under the direction of” a qualified SLP.
Participants from the Mississippi Speech-Language-Hearing Association said that their state's Department of Education offers scholarships for those coming in under emergency waivers. These individuals must meet the highest qualified provider standards by a set date. The Indiana Speech-Language-Hearing Association has developed a brochure for special education directors to assist them in their hiring of qualified SLPs. At the SLPA roundtable, ASHA staff shared information on technical changes that are being made to ASHA guidelines on training and supervision of SLPAs and on a new document, currently under development, that will provide guidance for services “under the direction of” a qualified SLP.
State Association Presidents Meet
After the State Policy Workshop ended, the Council of State Association Presidents (CSAP) held its spring meeting. Sue Hale, vice president for quality of service in speech-language pathology, and Eileen Crowe, direction of state association relations, presented information on ASHA's four member advocacy networks-the State Education Advocacy Leaders (SEALs), Medicare Intermediary and Carriers State Network (MICS), State Advocates for Reimbursement Network (STARs), and the State Licensure Network. During these sessions, they commented that some networks covered under ASHA's Focused Initiatives are more active because they receive more program funds.
Following the recommendation of the Joint Committee on State-National Association Relations, attendees rated the communication they received from ASHA on each of the networks. The SEALs received the highest rating while the MICS ranked the lowest. Only 36% of the respondents indicated that their boards received reports from their network members on ASHA activities. Some states indicated that they would like to see ongoing financial commitments through ASHA's Focused Initiatives to support the activities of these networks.
The challenge of recruiting volunteer leaders to conduct the business of state associations emerged as a theme at the meeting. Focusing on students has been a successful strategy in some states to attract new members and potential future association leaders. During one of the sessions, students described to participants what attracts them to becoming active in state associations. The Indiana association attendees indicated that they have created a student advisory council that has brought in many new student members. In Kentucky, the state association's management firm sends its executive director to visit universities as part of their student recruitment drive, and two students work at the management company's office. The Ohio Association is working in conjunction with their state Department of Education to recruit students, and have started a student track at their convention.
State leaders are already planning for the 2005 ASHA State Policy Workshop and CSAP Conference in Minneapolis, MN.
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June 2004
Volume 9, Issue 12