Advocacy At Work

IOTA Day on the Hill

Thank you to all of the therapists, therapy assistants, and students that participated in Hill Day on February 1.  We distributed over 75 handouts to the State Legislators that outlined our legislative initiatives for this year during 1:1 conversations!  This was a very impactful day, and, in fact, the next day during a debate on the floor, OT services were mentioned!  So you can and do make a difference!

Keep the conversation going around our talking points for this year, a great handout utilized at the hill is available here on these topics:

  • Workforce Shortage: Rural Health Initiative
  • OT as Mental Health Provider
  • Unresolved concerns with Medicaid Managed Care
  • Highlighting recent studies demonstrating the effectiveness of OT in reducing health care costs

Hill Day 2017

The Iowa Occupational Therapy Association (with our lobbyists from Advocacy Strategies, LLC) works very hard to advocate for our profession. Talk with Legislators: Communicating with your legislators increases their understanding of occupational therapy, ensures they understand issues that impact our profession, and provides support for our profession when IOTA seeks to support or oppose a bill. Please take time to learn who your legislators are and begin to build a partnership with them.

 

AOTA Updates:

21st Century Cures:

21st Century Cures includes legislation to support Mental and Behavioral Health Education and Training through grant program.  It also includes legislation to improve rehabilitation research at the NIH and promote young scientists in rehabilitation research.  It also delays implementation of Competitive bidding for Complex Rehabilitation Technology for seating systems and accessories.  

See full AOTA article here: http://www.aota.org/Advocacy-Policy/Congressional-Affairs/Legislative-Issues-Update/2016/21st-Century-Cures-Victories-for-Occupational-Therapy.aspx

ACA Marketplaces:

On Tuesday, October 18, AOTA’s State Affairs Group and Stateside Associates presented a webinar on AOTA’s report on rehabilitation and habilitation in the ACA’s Marketplaces. You can access a recording of the webinar through this link: https://meetings.webex.com/collabs/url/Wf_wWeq7NmWPbtOqnWcx1k0VOth0p9wlPDZzQMnv34000000.

Stateside reviewed 724 silver plans in 24 states and the District of Columbia and found that many plans are still failing to meet the ACA’s essential health benefits (EHB) requirements for rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices. AOTA hope this report will provide evidence for state-level advocates to use with state insurance commissioners and others to advocate for plans that are in compliance with EHB standards.

It is essential for our profession to continually advocate for OT involvement in rehabilitation as well as habilitation.  We all need to continue to lobby our legislators for inclusion and best outcomes for those we serve. Please share with your medical profession colleagues to ensure they are educated on the value of Occupational Therapy.