ASHA Advocate: February 29, 2024

February 29, 2024

The Top Line

We need your help now! Congress is currently deciding how to pass appropriations legislation that funds the federal government to avoid a shutdown. ASHA is working with other organizations to have a provision included in the legislation to reverse the 3.4% Medicare payment cut that went into effect on January 1. We recently met with top health staffers for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urging them to stop the cuts and enhance future payments to account for claims that already have been processed at the lower rate. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Peter Welch (D-VT), along with 30 other representatives, also sent a letter [PDF] to the majority and minority leaders urging action on this matter.

We can’t do this alone. Members of Congress need to hear from their constituents on this issue. Take action now by sending a prewritten message urging Congress to fix this problem NOW!

Help Ensure CPT Codes Reflect the Value of Your Work

ASHA has partnered with the American Medical Association—and other stakeholders—to collect data to present to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in hopes of updating badly outdated data on the cost to provide care. This is a pivotal opportunity to ensure CPT codes accurately describe the services you provide and reflect the value of your work. Clinicians will be randomly selected by the survey administrator, Mathematica, to participate. If you are selected to participate in this survey effort, help your profession by responding!

Department of Education Announces 3rd Grant Targeting CSD Programs

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has announced the third of three personnel development grant opportunities for higher education programs to help with increasing the number of school-based specialized instructional support personnel—including educational audiologists and school-based speech-language pathologists—in the workforce. Last year, ASHA provided input to OSEP on ways to improve the school personnel pipeline including the development of programs at HBCUs and minority-serving institutions, as well as the recruitment of faculty for programs.

Biden Administration Announces $1.2 Billion in Loan Forgiveness

President Biden announced loan forgiveness for over 150,000 federal student loan borrowers who are enrolled in the Administration’s Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan. The SAVE plan is open for eligible borrowers to enroll in while the Administration continues providing accelerated forgiveness for new enrollees. ASHA is advocating for several higher education policy objectives, including increasing access to public service loan forgiveness and reducing the burden of student debt.

Strategic Planning in the States

ASHA staff facilitated a successful strategic planning session for the Oregon Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (OSHA) Board of Directors. The strategic plan helps state association leaders define their vision for the future and identify their goals and objectives to focus energy and resources. Facilitation of strategic planning is a benefit offered by ASHA to state association leaders either in person or virtually to encourage working towards common goals.



Working for You

  • Provided a support letter for Maryland legislation that would provide a salary supplement [PDF] for audiologists and SLPs who hold the Certificate of Clinical Competence.
  • Submitted comments [PDF] to Maryland supporting HB 464/SB 795, which could modernize the scope of practice for audiologists.
  • Continued work with the Nebraska Speech-Language-Hearing Association opposing [PDF] an effort in the state to expand the scope of practice for hearing instrument specialists that is inconsistent with their education and training.
  • Met with school-based members across several states to discuss their concerns about caseload and workload. Topics included how ASHA can become more directly involved in local advocacy with districts.

Interested in seeing other comment letters ASHA has submitted? Visit our website.


Congratulations to the Tennessee Association of Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists (TAASLP) on a successful Day on the Hill 2024! TAASLP received an ASHA student advocacy grant, which they used to support students from 4 different universities who met with 17 state legislators and passed out information to an additional 60+ legislators on legislative priorities impacting audiologists and SLPs in Tennessee. Thank you for your advocacy work in Tennessee!


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