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Telepractice Advocacy in States

ASHA advocates in the states for telepractice to be recognized as an appropriate service delivery model for audiologists and speech-language pathologists (SLPs). Each state has different rules for providing services via telepractice. Most activity in states focuses on regulating the practice and managing reimbursement. Despite proven benefits, telepractice remains underutilized nationwide within the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology due to a lack of clear state laws governing its use and/or mandating appropriate reimbursement for services delivered.

Impact on Audiologists and SLPs

Before providing services via telepractice, you must make sure your state allows it. Most states have issued regulations or guidance defining telepractice and establishing parameters for its use. Following are some considerations.

  • Audiology and speech-language pathology services delivered via telepractice must be equivalent to the quality of services provided in person.
  • Even if your state allows for telepractice, that does not guarantee insurers (such as Medicaid and private insurance) will reimburse you on the same basis as in-person care. While some states have enacted parity laws that mandate insurance coverage for telepractice, these rules do not apply to every type of health plan or every patient.
  • Not every individual is an appropriate candidate for telepractice services; audiologists and SLPs must evaluate each individual/setting in which they deliver services.
  • Audiologists and SLPs who deliver services to individuals via telepractice are bound by the ASHA Codes of Ethics and the practice act in any state where they provide services.

Stay Informed and Get Involved!

  • Read the full Issue Brief [PDF] on ASHA’s position and advocacy strategy with decision makers.
  • Be an advocate! Review ASHA’s talking points, so you know what to say on this issue.
  • Visit ASHA’s Practice Portal for more information on telepractice.

News and Updates

ASHA’s Advocacy Efforts on Telepractice

ASHA advocates for defining and recognizing telepractice in states by supporting laws and regulations that would allow audiologists and SLPs to participate in telepractice; the Association also voices support for reimbursement equitable to in-person services. ASHA adopted the term telepractice rather than the frequently used terms telemedicine or telehealth to avoid the misperception that these services are used only in health care settings. Practitioners also use other terms such as teleaudiology, telespeech, and speech teletherapy. ASHA’s correspondence with states follows the appropriate term used in that particular state.

See ASHA's full list of comments, letters, and testimonies.

Questions?

Email us at states@asha.org.

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