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ASHA Advocate: April 21, 2022

April 21, 2022


The Top Line

The federal public health emergency (PHE) was renewed for another 90-days, through July 15. Earlier this month, ASHA sent a letter [PDF] to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra urging renewal of the COVID-19 PHE. ASHA highlighted the risks of prematurely ending flexibilities and waivers, including Medicare telehealth coverage, relaxed privacy requirements, and enhanced federal Medicaid funding, all of which are contingent on the PHE. A bill was passed last month that extends coverage of audiology and speech-language pathology telehealth services for Medicare beneficiaries for another 151-days after the PHE expires. ASHA has developed resources to help audiologists and SLPs begin preparing for when the PHE ends.

Senate Committee Advances Workforce Diversity Bill

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has advanced legislation that includes the primary provision from the Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act. The provision creates a grant program to increase educational opportunities for disadvantaged and underrepresented individuals in audiology and speech-language pathology. Take action now to voice support for final passage!

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Interstate Compact Reaches 19 States!

The Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact now includes 19 states, with recent adoption by Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Additional states are expected to adopt the Compact this year. Stay up to date on activities by reviewing the meeting agendas and minutes.

ASLP-IC map of the United States

Working for You

  • President Biden signed a government funding bill with provisions ASHA advocated for including the extension of Medicare telehealth coverage, increase in special education funding, support of CSD rehabilitation research, and requirement to address disparities in pediatric hearing health care.
  • ASHA continues engaging on scope of practice legislation in states. To date, 23 bills have been introduced that would license music therapists and applied behavioral analysts. So far, none have passed and 3 have failed.
  • As a result of ASHA advocacy, MaineCare reinstated Tobii Dynavox as a supplier of speech-generating devices for Maine Medicaid beneficiaries.
  • ASHA-PAC released its 2021 Annual Report [PDF] that highlights a record-breaking fundraising year in which we raised $243,330 from 8,263 members.

Spotlight!

National Specialized Instructional Support Personnel Appreciation Week is April 25–29. ASHA is teaming up with the National Alliance of Specialized Instructional Support Personnel (NASISP) to raise awareness about the important roles that educational audiologists and school-based SLPs play in servicing students with disabilities in schools. Follow ASHA Advocacy on Facebook and Twitter for more information on how you can take action during SISP Week.

 

NSISP logo

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