Special Interest Group 18, Telepractice SIG 18 has 1,319 affiliates. SIG 18 and telepractice continue to be challenged with reimbursement issues. Medicare does not provide benefits for audiology and speech-language pathology services provided through telepractice. At the state level, Medicaid and private insurance policies are highly variable. One of the issues in moving ... SIG Spotlight
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SIG Spotlight  |   July 01, 2016
Special Interest Group 18, Telepractice
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Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / ASHA News & Member Stories / SIG Spotlight
SIG Spotlight   |   July 01, 2016
Special Interest Group 18, Telepractice
The ASHA Leader, July 2016, Vol. 21, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.SIGS.21072016.np
The ASHA Leader, July 2016, Vol. 21, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.SIGS.21072016.np
How many affiliates does your SIG have now?
Is there an important, new issue surrounding your SIG’s subject matter right now? Highlight a timely event or trend.
SIG 18 and telepractice continue to be challenged with reimbursement issues. Medicare does not provide benefits for audiology and speech-language pathology services provided through telepractice. At the state level, Medicaid and private insurance policies are highly variable.
One of the issues in moving reimbursement policy forward is demonstrating cost savings to legislators. ASHA recently conducted a cost analysis, which concluded that expanding Medicare benefits for audiology and speech-language pathology telepractice services would cost only $2.5 million over five years and $10 million over 10 years. In the grand scheme of Medicare’s budget, this is a very small price tag on the expansion of services it could provide. We are excited about this report and its implications for making progress on what have been some stubborn issues for this method of service delivery.
What upcoming events related to or sponsored by your SIG should everyone know about? Chats, conferences or convention events?
We have some exceptional invited sessions at the 2016 ASHA Convention in Philadelphia. Latoya Thomas of the American Telemedicine Association and Cheris Frailey, ASHA’s director of state education and legislative advocacy, will present on understanding and advocating for telepractice legislation and policy. We want participants to be able to walk away with some tools for navigating and creating change on issues like state guidelines, licensure and reimbursement.
We will also offer a short course on telepractice, audiology and aural rehabilitation across the lifespan. This course will have a lot of great information for audiologists and speech-language pathologists, and will cover themes such as policy, technology, infant and pediatric hearing screening, evaluation, and addressing the listening and spoken language needs of clients remotely.
Which of your recent Perspectives articles is a must-read for CSD professionals, and why?
Our September 2015 issue had a great article, “An Adapted Assessment Model for Emergent Literacy Conducted via Telepractice,” by Schea N. Fissel, Pamela R. Mitchell and Robin L. Alvares. The authors examine the assessment of emergent and early literacy skills of children with complex communication needs (CCN), including users of augmentative and alternative communication. The body of literature addressing this topic is not very robust and we obviously need to know more. However, it’s exciting to be in a place where we can take a serious look at questions like this. Often, conversations around telepractice focus on limitations and what services we think can and cannot be provided remotely. This article makes us think outside of that box and explore what effective and ethical telepractice services could look like for clients with more complex needs.
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July 2016
Volume 21, Issue 7