ASHA Advocate: June 6, 2023

June 6, 2023

The Top Line

Curious about how ASHA sets its advocacy priorities each year? Decisions are primarily based on member input, so we want to hear from you! By completing an online survey are providing direction for specific legislative and regulatory efforts—at both the state and federal level—that ASHA will advocate on next year. This online survey asks you to rate 22 proposed advocacy initiatives and should take no more than 10 minutes of your time. The survey closes on June 16, 2023


Debt Deal Excludes Most Harmful Provisions

President Biden has signed into law debt limit legislation he negotiated with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The bill, which allows the federal government to continue borrowing to meet its obligations, like payments to Medicare providers, includes several provisions that could impact ASHA members, though harmful provisions against which ASHA lobbied were excluded from the bill.

CMS Modifies Certain COVID-19 Requirements

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule updating COVID-19 related requirements for facility-based settings, such as skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies. This new guidance removes most COVID-19 era vaccination requirements for Medicare and Medicaid certified providers and suppliers but maintains patient and staff education and documentation requirements. The policies outlined in the final rule will be effective late July 2023.

Working for You

  • ASHA signed a letter to congressional leaders circulated by the Patient Access to Responsible Care Alliance urging permanent extension of Medicare telehealth waivers and flexibilities expiring at the end of 2024, including provisions that allow audiologists and SLPs to provide telehealth services under the program.
  • Following extensive advocacy by ASHA and other stakeholders, CMS issued updated guidance for Medicare Part B (outpatient) telehealth services provided by facilities, including hospital outpatient departments and skilled nursing facilities, to ensure beneficiaries continue to receive therapy services following the end of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • ASHA is analyzing and preparing comments on several Medicaid related proposals released by the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health & Human Services (HHS). These rules address Medicaid managed care; access to Medicaid services; and parental consent requirements for school-based Medicaid billing of services provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In addition, CMS released a new comprehensive guide to Medicaid claiming for school-based services. ASHA will provide more information on these issues when we complete our review and analysis.
  • Vermont’s Governor has signed H. 86, the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact into law, making Vermont the 28th state to adopt the compact.


Thanks to the Committee of Ambassadors, ASHA-PAC Board, President Bob Augustine, and CEO Vicki Deal-Williams for pounding the pavement as part of ASHA’s 2023 Capitol Hill Day! The day’s activities generated significant support for priority bills such as the Supporting Medicare for Patients and Providers Act, whose cosponsors have increased from three to 14 and the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, whose cosponsors have increased from 31 to 74. Help build on that momentum by taking action on these bills now!


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