ASHA Advocate: September 13, 2023

September 13, 2023

The Top Line

Congress has returned from its traditional summer recess—short on accomplishments and with a long to-do list. The House and Senate are moving forward on federal funding bills that differ significantly on both spending and policy, increasing chances for a government shutdown this fall. Despite the partisanship, ASHA continues to make progress building bipartisan support for priority policies, especially following Capitol Hill Day in May, as major bills have been introduced and cosponsors added on bills to improve coverage and reimbursement of services audiologists and SLPs provide. Take action to support these bills today!


ASHA Joins Tomorrow’s Workforce Coalition

ASHA is now a member of the Tomorrow’s Workforce Coalition whose mission is to advocate for beneficial workforce development policies. The Coalition supports the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act (S. 722/H.R. 1477) [PDF], which would expand qualified expenses under 529 savings plans to include postsecondary training and credentialing, such as licenses and professional certifications. The bill would provide valuable tax advantaged resources to audiologists and SLPs pursuing career growth, mid-career changes, or alternative career pathways. Take action NOW to support this bill!

Take action now to support this legislation

FTC Proposed Ban on Non-Compete Agreements

Did you know that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed to ban non-compete agreements in employment contracts earlier this year? However, the fate of the proposal is uncertain. The FTC proposed rule has already seen over 27,000 public comments in response, and it is almost certain to face legal challenges in the courts, if implemented. In the meantime, ASHA has developed resources to help both employees and employers better understand and navigate non-compete agreements, including evaluating pros and cons, exploring alternatives to non-competes, and considering contract negotiation options.

Working for You

  • It’s been a busy summer for proposed federal regulations! We have analyzed and provided comments to federal agencies, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Education, on several proposed policies and regulations that impact ASHA members. Key topics include school-based Medicaid services, the impact of medical payment products on client/patient access to care, health information privacy, acute and post-acute care payment systems, managed care issues, and value-based care. You can find the full list of ASHA’s comments, letters, and testimony submitted in 2023 on the ASHA website.
  • ASHA’s Medicaid Committee met with CMS to discuss enforcement of the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit and address school-based Medicaid questions about coverage for audiology and speech-language pathology services.
  • ASHA staff, in collaboration with the Tennessee Association of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists (TAASLP), spoke at the Tennessee licensing board meeting to support changing the qualifications for clinical fellow (CF) supervising licensees. Currently, Tennessee requires a CF supervising licensee to be at least two years removed from completing their clinical fellowship. We requested the rule be altered to align with ASHA standards and those of other states, which only require supervisors to be nine months post-CF.


Susan Adams (ASHA), Indiana State Rep. Chris Campbell (audiologist), Indiana Speech-Language-Hearing Associaton (ISHA) President Elect Marianne Samuel, and Doanne Ward-Williams (ASHA) attended the National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Summit in Indianapolis. It was a great opportunity for ASHA staff and ISHA to collaborate and interact with state legislators from across the country on issues impacting audiologists and SLPs.


ASHA Corporate Partners