In Oklahoma, state association leaders are working with state officials to change rules that prohibit Medicaid billing for services provided by speech-language pathology assistants (SLPAs) and by student clinicians.
State rules specify that an SLPA can bill Medicaid for services only if the SLPA is employed by a speech-language pathologist. School-based SLPAs, therefore, cannot participate in Medicaid because they are employed by a school or district.
Oklahoma Speech-Language-Hearing Association (OSHA) leaders mounted an educational and advocacy effort to change the regulation. They collected information from ASHA and from other states on Medicaid policies that allow billing by SLPAs under the license, direction, and supervision of qualified SLPs.
They presented this information to Oklahoma Health Care Authority officials who, after a series of meetings, indicated they anticipate the change will be approved and implemented by June 2013.
OSHA is seeking similar changes to a rule prohibiting Medicaid reimbursement for services provided by student clinicians working under the license of supervising SLPs in public schools. Medicaid will reimburse for services provided by graduate students interning under the license of the supervising SLP in other practicum sites—including university and private clinics—but not in public schools. The schools, therefore, are unwilling to serve as practicum sites for student clinicians.
OSHA leaders sought and received support from Oklahoma's graduate speech-language pathology training programs, which wrote letters of support for the rule change to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority Medicaid Reimbursement Committee. If approved, the change will take effect in June 2013.