Read up on important issues concerning the reorganization of structure in AOTA.
ASD Conference Call with Ralph Kohl
Athletic Trainers-- Trying to remove “athlete” and “athletic trainer” from their scope of practice so they can treat anyone. This is on a state level, and is a huge problem because ATs do not have universal accreditation or core curriculum between universities. ATs licensing depends on the state, so not all ATs are trained like ours, and some are simply not qualified to care for our (OT&PT) patients. If they are successful in this they will have access to our Medicare population, and are not necessarily equipped to deal with co-morbidities, elderly, etc.
Health Care Reform- AOTA is nonpartisan, massive rise in partisanship due to unemployment, but AOTA is NONPARTISAN. With that said, AOTA supports health care reform. It will cover 31 more million Americans, stressing wellness, sets limits on insurance companies’ abilities to raise premiums arbitrarily, doesn’t alloy denial based on pre-existing conditions, abolishes recision (taking away insurance coverage when you contract an illness).
Therapy Cap (HR 43, S46)- $1,860 cap on therapy allowed per year per patient. This applies to OT alone, and OT/PT/SLP combined. The cap went into effect for less than a month previously this year and within that time a significant amount of people reached the cap. Every year AOTA lobbies to repeal the therapy cap, and every year settles on a 1-year extension. The ideal situation would be a full repeal. HR43 and S46 completely repeal the therapy cap, but the problem is the Congressional Budget Office has scored these bills $740 million/year cost. This makes the bill unpalatable and therefore difficult to pass. Very important to lobby for this in whatever way you can.
Home Health Flex Act- This has passed and is now included in the house version of health care reform. It is also included in one senate version. If it passes OT will be allowed to be “first in the home” of home health. At this point OT cannot do the initial home health evaluation. We are the only profession being excluded in this. The amendment has a score of 0 from the Congressional Budget Office, so it shouldn’t be difficult to convince legislators to like it.
*Our generation of OTs is in a good place, due to the AOTAs lobbying efforts we will no longer be left out of legislation. Washington is generally aware of us and will include us from now on.
When lobbying keep in mind:
• All politics are local.
• Our generation is the future of OT and we need to advocate for and advance the profession.
• If legislators don’t support us, they lose the OT vote, the patient vote, the patient family vote, etc. it trickles down to a large population of voters due to OT being such a person based field.
Staffers are very important and making contact
with them is vital.
-More about the Assembly of Student Delegates from AOTA.