The RVS Update Committee (RUC) Health Care Professionals Advisory Committee (HCPAC) of the American Medical Association (AMA) has decided to create on the RUC HCPAC a separate seat for speech-language pathology, which will be occupied by ASHA. ASHA and the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) have been asked to share the seat for audiology (previously part of one seat for both professions). ASHA will hold the speech-language pathology seat and, initially, will be the primary holder of the audiology seat, with AAA as the alternate. The roles for the audiology seat will then alternate on an annual basis.
ASHA, like all attendees at the pertinent RUC meeting, was bound by a confidentiality agreement to remain silent about these changes until released from confidentiality by the AMA. ASHA received that release just minutes ago.
The RUC HCPAC was created by the AMA to allow for participation in the development of relative values for new and revised CPT codes within the scope of practice of nonphysician health care professionals. CPT codes are used to report covered services to Medicare and other organizations. Organizations representing physician assistants, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, optometrists, podiatrists, psychologists, social workers, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, chiropractors, and registered dieticians are included on the review board.
The creation of a seat specifically for speech-language pathology increases ASHA's role on the RUC HCPAC, while the continuing representation of audiology in a seat now held jointly by ASHA and AAA will expand opportunities for collaboration between audiology organizations.
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