ASHA Advocate: December 15, 2023

December 15, 2023

Wisconsin Becomes 30th State to Join ASLP-IC

As we close out 2023, we’re excited to share that the Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact (ASLP-IC) has now passed in a total of 30 states. With the signature of Governor Tony Evers, Wisconsin became the 30th state to adopt the ASLP-IC. Advocacy efforts continue as we work to add more states to the ASLP-IC. Most recently, ASHA and the Florida Association of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology met with the Florida Defense Alliance to discuss the ASLP-IC. We also met with the Hawai’i Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology to discuss ASLP-IC legislation. In addition, ASHA is actively working on the process towards operationalizing the ASLP-IC. View the current map of states that have adopted the ASLP-IC and if your state isn’t “on the map”, take action and let your state legislators know that you want the interstate compact in your state!

2024 Medicare Payment Resources Now Available

ASHA's 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) resources for audiologists and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are now available. The MPFS establishes Medicare Part B policies and payment rates for outpatient audiology and speech-language pathology services. Without Congressional action, payments under the 2024 MPFS will decrease by as much as 10-12% on January 1, 2024. It is critically important to contact your members of Congress asking for the elimination or mitigation of these payment reductions as soon as possible.

Take Action to Stop Cuts

Medicare Audiology Bill Introduced in House

The Medicare Audiology Access Improvement Act (H.R. 6445) has now been introduced in the House by Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Matt Cartwright (D-PA). The bill, which mirrors the Senate version (S. 2377), would ensure that Medicare covers both diagnostic and treatment services provided by audiologists, remove the physician order requirement, and reclassify audiologists as practitioners. ASHA President Bob Augustine was quoted in bill the sponsors’ press release, noting that “ASHA looks forward to continued collaboration with these leaders and our allied partners to enact this bill as soon as possible—and to remove unnecessary bureaucratic barriers that prevent seniors from getting the hearing and balance care they need, when they need it.” You can show your support by sending a prewritten message to your members of Congress supporting this critical bill!

Take Action Now

Working for You

  • Advocacy win! The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee moved forward the Advancing Research in Education Act (S. 3392), which reauthorizes federal education research and technical assistance programs. ASHA worked with state associations and members of the Committee of Ambassadors to secure language in the bill that ensures specialized instructional support personnel (including educational audiologists and school-based SLPs) are better able to help inform needs assessments and data collection.
  • Advocacy win! The final version of the National Defense Authorization Act excluded harmful provisions that would have prevented service members and their dependents from accessing gender affirming care and precluded DOD initiatives to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Read ASHA’s previous letter [PDF] to Senate leaders opposing the provisions, which were in an earlier version of the House-passed bill.
  • ASHA joined the Kentucky Speech Language Hearing Association for a meeting with the Kentucky Department of Public Health to discuss rate increases and policy changes to its early intervention program, and we joined the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association for a meeting with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to discuss school-based Medicaid billing for speech services.
  • New member resources are now available that track state mandates around gender affirming care and diversity, equity, and inclusion, which may impact the ability of audiologists and SLPs to discuss this issue with students or to provide services such as gender affirming voice therapy.
  • Student advocacy grants were awarded to the following state associations to support including students in advocacy priorities in their state: Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington.
  • ASHA attended the National Association of Insurance Commissioners meeting earlier this month, where we met with 10 insurance commissioners to discuss issues of coverage, credentialing, and low rates faced by our providers in their states. We are meeting with several more commissioners this month to discuss these concerns and offer to partner with insurance commissioners to help address these issues.
  • The U.S. Department of Education released a notice inviting new grant applications for the Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities—Personnel Preparation of Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services Personnel at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities, and Other Minority Serving Institutions. The U.S. Department of Education also announced the extension of its personnel preparation grants, which is one of the largest sources for IDEA funding to support the personnel preparation activities of related service providers such as educational audiologists and SLPs. The deadline for applications is January 31.


Thank you to everyone who stopped by the Advocacy & PAC Lounge, came to the PAC reception, attended advocacy-related sessions, and engaged with ASHA staff at the 2024 ASHA Convention in Boston!


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