Advocacy

ADVOCACY UPDATE: 8/18/2020:

Great news from Nashville!! Your advocacy efforts on telehealth were successful!!

HB8002/SB8003 was passed yesterday and is heading to Governor Lee’s desk for his signature. This bill expands the definition of healthcare provider in the Tennessee Telepractice Statute for those of us (including SLPs and Audiologists) licensed under Title 63 and ALLOWS us to use telehealth as a service modality if we are licensed under Title 63 until 4/1/2022. This bill also allows full insurance payment parity for telehealth services until 4/1/2022. The deadline on this legislation expiring is far enough out in order to allow TAASLP to continue to do work around the practice act for SLPs and Audiologists, which will be work that is needed in the General Assembly.

Your advocacy efforts worked! SLPs and Audiologists that are using their State Health Board licenses to use telehealth are now able to do so (until 4/1/2022) without having the Governor’s Executive Order. TAASLP could not have done this without you — thank you for getting behind this advocacy effort!

We also could not have done this without Chairperson Robin Smith (rep.robin.smith@capitol.tn.gov; (615) 741-2548) and Representative Bryan Terry (rep.bryan.terry@capital.tn.gov; (615) 741-2180). If you would like to reach out to these two amazing Representatives and send them a thank you, that would be great! They truly advocated for SLPs and Audiologists to be included in this legislation. Thank you, Representative Smith and Representative Terry!

We would also like to thank our lobbyists, Courtney Atnip and Heather Meshell at Capitol & 5th Public Strategies as we would not be in this better spot today without you. Thank you for your tireless efforts on our behalf!

TAASLP knows there is still work to be done on telehealth and our practice act, but we are no longer under the Governor’s EO with an expiration date of 08/29/2020. We now have legislation to protect SLPs and Audiologists licensed under Title 63 toward using telehealth into 2022!

 

Legislative Affairs

The Legislative Affairs Committee is charged with monitoring, developing, and advocating for legislation that affects audiologists and speech-language pathologists and the clients and patients they serve.  The VP for Legislative Affairs works closely with the TAASLP lobbyist to develop strategies for engaging legislators in issues pertinent to our professions.  The Reimbursement Committee is a subcommittee of the Legislative Affairs Committee and works to ensure that members receive the most current information regarding rules and regulations for reimbursement and also advocates for reimbursement for our services.

TAASLP conducts periodic ‘Day on the Hill’ events to allow members to meet with their legislators and directly advocate for our professions at Legislative Plaza

Current Projects

  • TAASLP is currently analyzing school SLP caseload data, with an end goal of introducing caseload or workload caps in Tennessee
  • TAASLP continues to monitor on going changes to the Affordable Care Act in Tennessee and its effect on provision of services by audiologists and speech-language pathologists
  • TAASLP is participating in developing rule regarding telepractice for audiologists and speech-language pathologists
  • New Laws of Special Interest to TAASLP

Accomplishments

2019 – Assisted in the repeal of the Professional Privilege Tax for 15 of the original 22 professions, including Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists
2019 – Introduced successful legislation which established a provisional license for SLP Clinical Fellows (CFs), allowing them to be reimbursed by Medicare and other third-party payers
2015 – Introduced legislation to repeal the Professional Privilege Tax. Our efforts contributed to the study that is being signed into law (as of 4.22.16)
2011 – Received ASHA STAR grant for developing student advocacy participation at the state level.  Conducted ‘Day on the Hill’ event for undergraduate and graduate students from across the state
2011 – Legislation mandating insurance coverage for hearing aids for children passed
2007 – Legislation explicitly allowing speech-language pathologists to perform endoscopy passed
Advocated for legislation mandating newborn hearing screening
Advocated for insurance mandate for autism coverage


If you would like to be involved in the Legislative Affairs Committee, or would like to discuss current and/or prospective legislation, please contact TAASLP VP Legislative Affairs at advocacy@taaslp.org

Thanks for all you do to support infants, children, and adults with communication, balance, and swallowing disorders!