2022 Occupational Therapy Advocacy Wins and Loses
We just ended the 117th Congress with some wins, some losses, but most importantly, a plan to keep moving forward to improve the Occupational Therapy profession for both patients and practitioners! That’s why this week on The Amplify OT Podcast, I am talking about the 2022 OT advocacy wins and losses from congress!
Episode Article and Resources: amplifyot.com/end-of-year-2022-legislative-updates-its-impact-on-ot/
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Congress ended its term with a massive 1.7 Trillion Dollar legislative package- The Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 2023 (otherwise referred to as the Omnibus Bill). Within this bill, there are quite a few healthcare policies that impact our practice.
To recap, here are some of the wins and areas for improvement that resulted from the 117th Congress:
- The Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act was officially passed!
- Another extension was passed to allow Occupational Therapy practitioners and others to continue providing services via Telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries and receive reimbursement until the end of 2024.
- The Lymphedema Treatment Act was passed to expand the coverage to include Lymphedema garments as well as other commonly prescribed items.
- A new Medicare mental health benefit was passed for intensive outpatient services that are provided at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) or rural health clinics.
- A correction was made to a grant administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to expand their funding that allows OT programs to apply for behavioral health workforce education training to doctoral-level programs.
Areas for Improvement:
- Congress mitigated the conversion factor in Medicare Part B payments (or the Medicate Physicians Fee Schedule) which, in turn, leads to cuts.
- Revised supervision and exemptions for rural and medically underserved areas under the S.M.A.R.T. Act were not included in the bill.
You might be wondering what’s next. AOTA is going to continue analyzing this bill to look for opportunities we can benefit from (& spoiler alert: they have already identified a few) and now it’s time to reintroduce the bills that did not pass and look toward introducing new legislation.
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