Developing a Statewide Strategy to Improve Reimbursement Reimbursement issues are complex and need to be approached from different angles. To improve the reimbursement situation in our state, the Florida Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (FLASHA) is launching a year-long effort to increase state association members’ understanding about reimbursement issues and to solicit their input on critical ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   February 01, 2004
Developing a Statewide Strategy to Improve Reimbursement
Author Notes
  • Pete Johnson, is a speech mentor at Select Medical Rehabilitation Services, and a clinical and research affiliate of the University of South Florida department of communication sciences and disorders. Contact him at pjrnjojo@gte.net.
    Pete Johnson, is a speech mentor at Select Medical Rehabilitation Services, and a clinical and research affiliate of the University of South Florida department of communication sciences and disorders. Contact him at pjrnjojo@gte.net.×
Article Information
Practice Management / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   February 01, 2004
Developing a Statewide Strategy to Improve Reimbursement
The ASHA Leader, February 2004, Vol. 9, 2. doi:10.1044/leader.AN.09032004.2
The ASHA Leader, February 2004, Vol. 9, 2. doi:10.1044/leader.AN.09032004.2
Reimbursement issues are complex and need to be approached from different angles. To improve the reimbursement situation in our state, the Florida Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (FLASHA) is launching a year-long effort to increase state association members’ understanding about reimbursement issues and to solicit their input on critical issues. As part of the plan, members will learn to advocate for change in employer-based health plans, consistency in local medical review policies, organization of consumer groups, and mandated optional coverage for speech-language pathology and audiology services.
Regional Workshops
FLASHA recently kicked off its series of regional reimbursement workshops in Miami, Orlando, and Tampa. Additional workshops will take place in Jacksonville, Fort Myers, and in the Panhandle region to increase speech-language pathologists’ and audiologists’ knowledge of current reimbursement issues. Additional localities in Florida interested in the workshop are encouraged to contact FLASHA. The interactive workshop, developed by our STAR network, is called “Want to Get Paid? Understanding and Advocating for Improved Reimbursement.” Participants receive continuing education credit for this workshop, which will also be presented at the FLASHA annual convention in May.
Workshop participants will establish priorities in breakout sessions and examine their roles in advocacy related to employers, consumers, legislators, and insurers. The workshop will provide attendees with tools and resources to empower patients, families, and themselves as providers to improve access to speech-language pathology and audiology services and to respond effectively to denials from third-party payers. After completion of the training, participants will have the skills to communicate effectively on reimbursement issues with legislators, employers, or insurance companies.
As part of the workshop, participants bring their own health plan benefit information so it can be reviewed. Feedback will be offered on advocacy strategies aimed at strengthening coverage of speech, language, and hearing services.
Advocates Needed
It is important that SLPs and audiologists get involved with nuts-and-bolts subcommittee work by joining one of four reimbursement subcommittees, which focus on:
  • Insurance-Members of this subcommittee will focus on achieving more consistent local medical review policies.

  • Employers-This subcommittee will approach employers to establish more consistent speech, language, hearing, and swallowing coverage.

  • Consumers-Clinicians who join this subcommittee will recruit consumers willing to testify on the benefits of speech, language, hearing, and swallowing services.

  • Legislators-Obtaining mandatory optional coverage for speech, language, and hearing services will be the focus of this subcommittee’s work.

With this multidirectional approach to reimbursement advocacy, FLASHA-in collaboration with its reimbursement committee and the state’s STAR network-is hopeful that the reimbursement picture will brighten and improve the working lives of SLPs and audiologists in Florida.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
February 2004
Volume 9, Issue 3