Blueprint for Action Sets 2016 Public Policy Agenda Demonstrating the value of audiology and speech-language pathology services underscores many of the advocacy initiatives in “Blueprint for Action,” ASHA’s 2016 public policy agenda. This demonstration is critical in the changing health care landscape, which is moving toward alternative reimbursement models based on client outcomes. The Government Relations and Public ... ASHA News
Free
ASHA News  |   January 01, 2016
Blueprint for Action Sets 2016 Public Policy Agenda
Author Notes
Article Information
Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   January 01, 2016
Blueprint for Action Sets 2016 Public Policy Agenda
The ASHA Leader, January 2016, Vol. 21, 59. doi:10.1044/leader.AN3.21012016.59
The ASHA Leader, January 2016, Vol. 21, 59. doi:10.1044/leader.AN3.21012016.59
Demonstrating the value of audiology and speech-language pathology services underscores many of the advocacy initiatives in “Blueprint for Action,” ASHA’s 2016 public policy agenda.
This demonstration is critical in the changing health care landscape, which is moving toward alternative reimbursement models based on client outcomes.
The Government Relations and Public Policy Board and ASHA staff developed the agenda with input from more than 1,550 responses to a survey of ASHA members on 14 issue objectives. The blueprint includes issues deemed feasible in the current political climate and is based on seven principles: ethics, commitment to client care and outcomes, evidence-based practice, diversity, nondiscrimination, commitment to ASHA members, and collaboration with other organizations.
Federal level
Federal advocacy will focus on Medicare issues and education legislation. ASHA will continue to advocate for equitable Medicare reimbursement for audiologists and SLPs; coverage of services and devices; an alternative payment policy for outpatient therapy services; and a comprehensive audiology benefit. Because Congress repealed the formula for determining Medicare reimbursement for health care providers in 2015 legislation, the blueprint focuses on working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to develop and implement a new system.
Congress is making considerable headway on legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). If that happens, the 2016 blueprint calls for reauthorization of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act; funding for speech, language, literacy and hearing services and devices in all federal legislation; reducing paperwork and caseloads in schools and other settings; and including audiologists and SLPs as service providers 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 for adults and children.

  • Medicaid reimbursement and coverage policies.

  • Inclusion of speech-language and hearing services and devices in health plans’ habilitative and rehabilitative services category—one of 10 essential health benefits categories mandated in the Affordable Care Act.

  • 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 audiology and speech-language services.

State level
The blueprint includes several issues to be addressed at the state level: support for comprehensive licensure in all states; adoption of model licensing language; 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.
For more information, contact George Lyons Jr., director of ASHA government relations and public policy, at glyons@asha.org.
0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
January 2016
Volume 21, Issue 1