Public Policy Efforts to Target Key Issues Direct Access, IDEA, and Doctoral Shortages in Spotlight ASHA News
ASHA News  |   January 01, 2004
Public Policy Efforts to Target Key Issues
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School-Based Settings / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   January 01, 2004
Public Policy Efforts to Target Key Issues
The ASHA Leader, January 2004, Vol. 9, 3. doi:10.1044/leader.AN2.09012004.3
The ASHA Leader, January 2004, Vol. 9, 3. doi:10.1044/leader.AN2.09012004.3
Direct access for patients to speech-language pathology and audiology services, full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and efforts that will address doctoral shortages top the list of ASHA’s public policy objectives in 2004. Announced at the ASHA Convention in November, the 2004 Public Policy Agenda ranks policy issues being considered by federal and state governments by level of importance to ASHA members, and outlines plans for advocacy for the year.
The top three issue objectives in 2004 are:
  • Expansion of direct patient access to audiology and speech-language pathology services, including direct billing, to ensure that the work component for these services is included in Medicare fee schedule payment rates.

  • Full funding and reauthorization of IDEA, with specific attention given to the recruitment and retention of highly qualified personnel, reducing caseloads/workloads, promoting effective early intervention and outcomes-based practices, and providing services to culturally and linguistically diverse children.

  • Federal training, financial aid, and loan forgiveness policies and funding priorities that affect recruitment and retention of PhD faculty and researchers in communications sciences and disorders graduate programs, including continued focus on racial/ethnic minority groups.

Other public policy priorities in the coming year for ASHA include expanding early intervention services for children with hearing loss; increasing coverage of diagnostic and rehabilitation audiology and speech-language pathology services; repealing the Medicare outpatient therapy cap; and assisting school-based members to better identify and utilize IDEA, Medicaid, and Early Reading First funding for their programs.
To view the 2004 agenda, visit ASHA’s Web site at and enter “Public Policy Agenda” in the search box. For more information, contact James Potter by e-mail at or by phone through the Action Center at 800-498-2071, ext. 4125.
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January 2004
Volume 9, Issue 1