Telepractice advocacy in states focuses on regulating the practice and managing fair reimbursement. Each state approaches telepractice rules and regulations differently. Many states are silent on the issue, meaning they have no current rules and regulations in place. Visit ASHA’s State-by-State webpage to select a state and see its legal requirements regarding telepractice.
Audiologists and SLPs can help inform state decision makers of the need for and benefits of improving the coverage and reimbursement of telepractice services.
- Telepractice is an appropriate service delivery model for audiologists and SLPs.
- Services must be delivered the same as face-to-face, and not every individual is an appropriate candidate for telepractice services; each individual/setting in which services are to be delivered must be evaluated.
- Audiologists and SLPs who deliver services to individuals via telepractice are bound by ASHA and state codes of ethics and must meet the practice requirements in each state where they practice.
- A major benefit of telepractice is the increased access for consumers, especially in rural and underserved areas.
- The implementation of the Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact will advance telepractice to enable transferability, enhanced service delivery, and increased access for consumers.
Audiologists and SLPs can advocate for improving coverage and reimbursement.
- Medicare: Advocate for and support federal legislation that would include audiology and speech-language pathology as a covered service.
- Medicaid and private insurance: Contact your state Medicaid office and insurance companies to verify authorization, documentation, and coding requirements.
- Contact your state association and licensure board to advocate for policies/rules (e.g., limited licensure or registration) that allow you to practice across state lines without undue hardship. These efforts would reduce barriers (cost and maintenance of multiple licenses) for practitioners.
- Attend hearings, and provide testimony sharing how the issue affects you personally.
- Invite legislators and/or regulators to your place of business to watch a telepractice session in person.
- Work with state associations and state network representatives to advocate for coverage of audiology and speech-language pathology services.
- Respond to requests from ASHA and your state association to send letters to your legislators and/or regulators on this issue.
International Considerations: Refer to ASHA’s list of international contacts for audiologists and SLPs who deliver services to individuals in other countries. Contact those countries for rules and laws that apply to telepractitioners.