ASHA Announces 2003 Advocacy Agenda IDEA Reauthorization, Promoting AR Services Top Priorities ASHA News
ASHA News  |   December 01, 2002
ASHA Announces 2003 Advocacy Agenda
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School-Based Settings / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / ASHA News & Member Stories / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   December 01, 2002
ASHA Announces 2003 Advocacy Agenda
The ASHA Leader, December 2002, Vol. 7, 3-8. doi:10.1044/leader.AN2.07222002.3
The ASHA Leader, December 2002, Vol. 7, 3-8. doi:10.1044/leader.AN2.07222002.3
The reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Medicare coverage of audiologic rehabilitation (AR) services top the list of ASHA’s priorities in the 2003 public policy agenda. Developed by ASHA’s Government Relations and Public Policy Board, the annual public policy agenda prioritizes and strategically plans the advocacy activities of the Association.
After the last reauthorization of IDEA in 1997, the reauthorization process is beginning again and proposals from the Bush administration are expected to be introduced in early 2003. ASHA has been working with the U.S. Department of Education and congressional leaders over the last year on issues related to the reauthorization and increased funding for IDEA programs.
Also among ASHA’s top three advocacy objectives for the year is expanded coverage of audiological evaluation and rehabilitation services by audiologists in public and private health plans. Federal legislation for Medicare coverage of AR services by audiologists is expected to be introduced in early 2003. In collaboration with other audiology organizations, ASHA also is actively pursuing legislative and regulatory options for direct access and greater autonomy for audiologists within the Medicare program. Through ASHA’s 2003 focused initiative on health care, additional funds will be allocated to improve member information and advocacy resources on public and private health plans.
Enhancing Medicare payment and coding policies to provide greater coverage of speech-language pathology and audiology services continues to be a key focus of the public policy agenda. ASHA actively pursued this objective through its role in the American Medical Association’s Relative Value Update Committee and the CPT Editorial Panel. This year, ASHA was able to introduce 14 new CPT codes through the efforts of its Health Care Economics Committee.
Since Congress failed to extend the moratorium on the $1,500 caps by year’s end, mounting a repeal of the outpatient services caps will be the first course of action in the new year. ASHA also will push for increased access for Medicare beneficiaries to speech-language pathologists in private practice settings.
Other featured public policy priorities for ASHA in the coming year include:
  • expanding early hearing detection and intervention services

  • supporting state and local advocacy initiatives that use a workload analysis model to provide better quality services to school children

  • promoting the adoption of the standards in the Certificates of Clinical Competence (CCCs) in federal and state law and regulation

To view the new 2003 ASHA public policy agenda and learn how it is developed, visit ASHA’s Web site, or contact Jim Potter by e-mail at or through the Action Center at 800-498-2071, ext. 4125.
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December 2002
Volume 7, Issue 22