ASHA Federal Issue Briefs

Alternatives to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy

Ensure that all appropriate therapies are provided to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and that Congress not pass health care or education legislation that could have the unintended consequence of designating applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy as the sole means by which to treat ASD. Learn more about this legislation; read the full Alternatives to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy issue brief [PDF].  

Congressional Hearing Health Caucus

Urge your representative to join the Hearing Health Caucus. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief about the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus [PDF].

Ensure Medicare Beneficiary Access to Speech-Generating Devices (SGDs)

Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) has introduced the Steve Gleason Act of 2015, H.R. 628, to allow for the immediate purchase and transfer of ownership of speech-generating devices (SGDs) to the Medicare beneficiary and remove the devices from the Medicare capped-rental requirements. The Senate is expected to introduce companion legislation in the near future. Ask your members of Congress to cosponsor this important legislation. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief about Ensuring Access to SGDs [PDF].

Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit

Ask your members of Congress to cosponsor the Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit, S. 315, legislation that would allow for a hearing aid tax credit. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief on the Hearing Aid Tax Credit [PDF].

IDEA Funding for Special Education

Urge your members of Congress to request an additional $1.5 billion for IDEA Part B State Grants for fiscal year 2016 and to cosponsor H.R. 551, the IDEA Full Funding Act. Remind your members that funding remains below the pre-sequester levels and that their Republican colleagues requested this amount last year. Learn more about IDEA. See the full issue brief on IDEA [PDF].

Medicaid Coverage of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Services

Ask your members of Congress to support legislative efforts to provide Medicaid coverage for audiology and speech-language pathology services. Learn more about this legislation; read the full Medicaid Coverage of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Services issue brief [PDF].

Medicare Coverage of Audiology Services

Ask your members of Congress to support legislation that would provide senior citizens with a Medicare audiology benefit that gives them access to both diagnostic and rehabilitation services provided by audiologists. Learn more about comprehensive coverage. See the full issue brief on Medicare Coverage of Audiology Services [PDF].

Medicare Outpatient Therapy Caps

Tell Congress to support the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act of 2015, H.R. 775, legislation that would repeal the Medicare outpatient therapy caps and ensure Medicare patients continue to have access to medically necessary speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, and physical therapy services. A repeal of the Medicare therapy caps should also be included in any Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) reform package. Learn more about therapy caps. See the full issue brief on Medicare Therapy Caps [PDF].

Medicare Telehealth Coverage for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Services

Tell your members of Congress to support legislation that recognizes audiologists and speech-language pathologists as appropriate providers of telehealth services and authorizes Medicare to reimburse them for providing patients with much-needed care. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief on Telehealth Coverage [PDF].

Paperwork for Special Education Services

Ask your members of Congress to seek ways to reduce cumbersome administrative and paperwork requirements in the reauthorization of both the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Encourage your members of Congress to contact schools in their districts and schedule visits to meet with audiologists and speech-language pathologists to hear firsthand about the paperwork and administrative burden. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief on Paperwork [PDF].

Reauthorization of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI)

Urge Congress to support legislation that would reauthorize the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program. This legislation would reauthorize the federal portion of this important and highly successful initiative for the next 5 years. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief on EHDI [PDF].

Reauthorization of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

Ask your members of Congress to give local school districts the flexibility to use qualified education professionals, such as audiologists and speech-language pathologists (SLPs), as recognized providers of services under federal literacy and reading legislation and programs. Learn more about this legislation; read the full issue brief on ESEA [PDF]. 

Veteran Administration (VA) Hearing Aid Specialists

Tell your member of Congress to oppose H.R. 353, legislation that would allow for the appointment of hearing aid specialists to the Veterans Administration (VA). The bill was introduced by Representatives Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Tim Walz (D-MN). This legislation is redundant and unnecessary because current VA policies already allow for the employment of hearing aid specialists. The legislation will not address the problems associated with long wait times for hearing aids and hearing health care services by providing patients with timely access to qualified providers. 
Learn more about this legislation; read the full Veteran Administration (VA) Hearing Aid Specialists issue brief [PDF].

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