American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and the American Speech-Language-Hearing
Association (ASHA) have together earned a 2017 ASAE Power of A Silver
The association community's highest honor recognizes AOTA and
ASHA's efforts to advocate with the National Association of Insurance
Commissioners (NAIC) and federal agencies to make changes to the Affordable
Care Act's summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) document. As a result of this
advocacy, the revised SBC and related materials help increase consumers' health
literacy of rehabilitative and habilitative services.
Typically, AOTA and ASHA advocate directly with the federal government. In this case, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury deferred recommendations to the NAIC—leading AOTA and ASHA to establish relationships within the NAIC. The groups advocated
- The SBC template to maintain separate
and distinct rows for rehabilitation services and habilitation services, and
that they should not be combined.
- Health plans to list any limitations to
occupational, physical, and speech therapy; and if there is a quantifiable
limit, to specify that information.
- The definition for "medically necessary"
in the Uniform Glossary of Medical Terms to specifically mention habilitation.
"This award recognizes the ongoing
collaborative commitment of AOTA and ASHA to improve consumer access to quality
occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech, language, and hearing
Frederick P. Somers, Chief Executive Officer for AOTA.
"This work positively impacts the community and the
professions by increasing recognition of habilitation that was not routinely
covered pre-ACA, elevating awareness of our professions' services, and enabling
consumers to better evaluate, compare, and understand the covered services and
cost-sharing of health insurance plans to improve their health policy."
"Through AOTA and ASHA's cooperative work on this project, 180 million Americans will
have access to clear information about the level and scope of coverage for
habilitative and rehabilitative benefits under the different health insurance
plans available to them," said Arlene A. Pietranton, PhD, CAE, Chief Executive
Officer of ASHA. "This information will allow consumers to select their
insurance coverage in an informed way—a big boost to transparency in the
often-complex process of choosing a health plan. It also will allow those with
existing health insurance to better understand their coverage for habilitative
care. It is hard to overstate the importance of this project, given the
potentially dramatic effects that coverage for habilitative services can have
on the health and lives of people who require them."
ASAE offered the association's congratulations on a job
to AOTA and ASHA for their efforts to enrich and strengthen lives," said Sharon
J. Swan, FASAE, CAE, Chief Executive Officer of the American Society for
Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics and Chair of the Power of A Awards
Judging Committee. "Their initiative exemplifies how we work best when we work
together and how associations have a positive influence on our everyday lives
in every way."
ASAE's Power of A (association) Awards, the industry's highest honor, recognize the
association community's valuable contributions on the local, national, and
global levels. The Power of A Awards reward the outstanding accomplishments of
associations and industry professionals who work tirelessly to strengthen
lives, the workforce, our systems and structures, the economy, and the world.
more about the award, visit www.ThePowerofA.org/awards or follow #PWRA on
Founded in 1917, AOTA represents the professional interests and
concerns of more than 213,000 occupational therapists, assistants, and students
nationwide. The Association educates the public and advances the profession of
occupational therapy by providing resources, setting standards including
accreditations, and serving as an advocate to improve health care. Based in
Bethesda, Md., AOTA's major programs and activities are directed toward
promoting the professional development of its members and assuring consumer
access to quality services so patients can maximize their individual potential.
For more information, visit www.aota.org.
ASHA is the
national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 191,500
members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists;
speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language
pathology support personnel; and students. Audiologists specialize in
preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing
audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists
identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems, including swallowing
with a representative from AOTA, contact Manager of Media & Public
Relations Katie Riley at 301-652-6611 x2963 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To speak with a
representative from ASHA, contact Public
Relations Manager Francine Pierson at 301-296-8715 or FPierson@asha.org.