Advocacy At Work

Improve Access to Service for Individuals with Medicaid

We are currently working with the Iowa Speech and Hearing Association and also the Iowa Physical Therapy Association to coordinate our efforts regarding the concerns with the current Medicaid system.  The Multiple Procedure Payment Reduction will have a huge impact on therapies and also individuals needing our services in Iowa.  A meeting was held on June 29th with individuals from the Department of Human Services and all 3 organizations.  We are asking you (and the people you serve) to reach out and help our Governor understand the impact this will have on individuals in Iowa.  During the meeting, we discussed that children under age 18 should be exempt from the MPPR due to the complexity of their health concerns and the need for multiple therapies as they develop.  More information is available here.

IOTA is providing you with a form letter from an OT here or from Parents of Children on Medicaid here

Mark your calendar for IOTA Hill Day next session, February 6th, 2019!

The Iowa Occupational Therapy Association (with our lobbyists from Advocacy Strategies, LLC) had a great group at the Hill on January 24th talking with many legislators about issues for Iowans needing OT services.  Keep this communication going by reaching out to your legislature and letting them know about issues important to OT.  You can find your legislator here by typing in your full address.  A sample letter can be found here to use to draft your email to your legislator.  

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.

Use Social Media to tell your Advocacy story by connecting on Twitter @IowaOTassoc or on Facebook!   

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:

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:

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.