A lot is going on with occupational therapy advocacy and policy initiatives every day. A majority of that work is being done by AOTA, volunteers, and state associations. Learn more about how being an AOTA Member makes you the ultimate OT Advocate HERE.
**When it comes to policy, things change quickly, and information may have changed by the time you read this.
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May Occupational Therapy Advocacy & Policy Update
Medicare/ Adult Rehab
Private Practice: AOTA is hosting a specialty seminar, Private Practice Essentials for Reimbursement. Sessions are live on June 15 and June 17. Topics include documentation, billing, coding, and tips for success.
OASIS Update: Check out my latest article with Karen Vance on the Medicare Home Health Flexibility Act passage. We discuss what is next for OTs and the OASIS and what steps AOTA is taking to ensure this bill is implemented. You can also read more HERE.
Health Care Reform Update – AOTA Members Only: Laura Hooper, AOTA State Affairs, breaks down the latest updates in healthcare reform in the latest OT Practice. Read all about how the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) expanded benefits for the ACA Marketplace and how these expansions can help occupational therapy. It’s a great summary of all that is going on in the world of health care reform. These changes impact our patients and us as individuals!
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act (HR 3320/ S 1679) has been reintroduced! AOTA started supporting this legislation after its first introduction in 2019. This legislation would provide funding to improve diversity in allied health professions, including occupational therapy. The legislation would also help reduce provider shortages.
AOTA DEI Toolkit: A fabulous new tool from AOTA consisting of online resources and guides for faculty, practitioners, and students. “The toolkit is intended to provide instruction and guide you through recommended action guides, exercises, and assessments. It comprises four toolsets to expand knowledge in the areas of DEI and promote further discussion. There are several suggested activities and assessments within the toolsets for additional discovery and opportunities to adapt instructional materials for scenarios.” -AOTA
Assistive Tech for Amputees: AOTA endorses the Access to Assistive Technology and Devices for Americans Study Act (Triple A Study, HR2461/ S1089). This legislation would improve funding for research regarding access to assistive tech and devices for people with limb loss and limb difference. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) would also be charged with developing a report regarding coverage of health care services for people with limb loss of limb difference, including occupational therapy.
IDEA: The American Rescue Plan (S. Con. Res. 5) includes $3 billion to fund IDEA. $2.5 billion for K-12 special ed under Part B and $450 million for early intervention covered under Part C, Part B, and Section 619.
Licenses and Continuing Education
Licensure Compact: The Licensure Compact has been passed in 4 states (Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, and Georgia), and many other states have legislation waiting for the Governor’s signature. AOTA is hopeful we will have the 10 states required to activate the Compact within the first year.
April OT Advocacy & Policy Update
Medicare Sequester: The House and Senate passed an extension of the 2% Medicare sequester moratorium through December 31, 2021. It needs to be signed by the President.
CMS Proposed Rules FY 2022: CMS released its new rules. AOTA is reviewing them now. If you have a concern, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org – keep in mind they can only respond to members due to many emails.
Post-Acute Care: In a study funded by AOTA and APTA, occupational therapy and physical therapy were found to provide significant value to patients. The study looked at 1.4 million Medicare cases across acute care. Therapy utilization correlated to improved quality of life and decreased hospital readmissions. Read more here: www.aota.org/tops. Look for an article on this from Amplify OT in the future.
Telehealth: Rep Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) and David McKindley (R-WV) reintroduced the Expanded Telehealth Access Act (HR 2168). This bill would allow OT practitioners to provide OT services to Medicare patients after the expiration of the PHE. Use the take action page linked below to encourage your Representative to co-sponsor the legislation today!