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Dear SIG 15 affiliates,
Please participate in the Therapy Cap Coalition Thunderclap. Congress has agreed on a bipartisan framework to permanently repeal the therapy cap, but lawmakers need to act. There are many pressing issues before Congress right now, and they need to hear from you that this is a priority. Twenty years of temporary fixes is enough!
We'd love to have as many people as we can joining this effort. The point of this is to get #StopTheCap and #TherapyCantWait trending. Here's how it works. When you click on the link below, you can sign up to support the Thunderclap via your Facebook or Twitter accounts. Afterwards, at a designated time, everyone who signed up for the Thunderclap will have the same message and hashtag post at the same time on their social media. It's currently scheduled to go live at the end of the month.
Link to Therapy Cap Coalition Thunderclap -https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/66876-stopthecap-therapycantwait
Implementation Guidance for the
2018 Medicare Therapy Cap Without an Exceptions Process
The Medicare therapy cap exceptions process expired on December 31, 2017, and is replaced with a hard cap, effective January 1, 2018. Although many Medicare beneficiaries will not likely exceed the cap in the first quarter of 2018, speech-language pathologists and their patients face uncertainty regarding how to proceed until Congress acts to repeal the therapy cap or extend the exceptions process. In the interim, consider the following tips on how to navigate the therapy cap without an exceptions process.
2018 Therapy Cap Amount
There is one cap of $2,010 for physical therapy and speech-language pathology services combined and a second cap of $2,010 for occupational therapy services. The cap follows a beneficiary throughout the year regardless of diagnosis or practice setting and “resets” annually on January 1.
Settings Where the Therapy Cap Applies
Exemption for Outpatient Hospital Departments
Please note outpatient hospital departments are exempt from the therapy cap at this time, as they had been prior to the exceptions process. With an exceptions process in place for nearly 10 years, the previous exemption for outpatient hospitals was no longer considered necessary. As such, Congress applied the cap to this setting as long as an exceptions process was in place. Absent the exceptions process, the exemption from outpatient hospital departments was reinstated.
Additional details regarding the outpatient hospital department exemption is available on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) website.
Manual Medical Review of Therapy Services
Manual medical review (MMR) of therapy services was tied to the exceptions process. When Congress failed to extend the exceptions process, they also failed to extend MMR. It is possible that legislation for the cap could include some version of MMR in the future.
Options if a Patient Exceeds the Therapy Cap
If a patient exceeds the therapy cap, they may continue treatment at an outpatient hospital department (as this setting is currently exempt from the caps) or continue treatment and pay out of pocket. If a patient elects to pay out of pocket, ASHA strongly recommends that the clinician provide the patient with an advanced beneficiary notice (ABN) [PDF] to inform the beneficiary of potential financial liability if Congress fails to act. Following the provision of an ABN, the provider is allowed to charge the beneficiary if CMS does not pay the claim.
Unfortunately, clinicians may find that Medicare beneficiaries may not be able to afford to pay out of pocket and may prematurely end treatment despite a continued need.
CMS Announces it will Hold Claims
On January 18, 2018, CMS posted the following announcement regarding the expiration of the exceptions process to its website:
"...CMS is taking steps to limit the impact on Medicare beneficiaries by holding claims affected by the therapy caps exceptions process expiration for a short period of time beginning on January 1, 2018. Only therapy claims containing the KX modifier are being held; claims submitted with the KX modifier indicate that the cap has been met but the service meets the exception criteria for payment consideration. Currently if claims are submitted without the KX modifier and the beneficiary has exceeded the cap the claim will be denied.”
ASHA believes CMS intends to hold claims with the KX modifier and the KX modifier should only be used if the patient has exceeded the cap. It would not be appropriate for clinicians to use the KX modifier for all therapy claims. Holding claims for therapy services that have exceeded the cap and contain the KX modifiers will allow CMS to process those claims once Congress addresses the cap and prevents therapists from having to resubmit claims that would have otherwise been denied. It is not clear how long CMS will hold this group of claims. Additional details will be posted here as they become available.
Congressional Action Retroactive to January 1
Although it is hopeful that any legislative fix to the therapy cap will be retroactive to January 1, these details have not been confirmed at this time.
It is imperative that every ASHA member contact their members of Congress today and request that Congress pass a bipartisan and bicameral policy agreement to repeal the therapy caps once and for all.
Please continue to monitor the ASHA website and sign up for ASHA Headlines to get the most recent news available.
For additional legislative questions contact Ingrida Lusis, ASHA's director of federal & political advocacy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional regulatory implementation questions contact Sarah Warren, ASHA's director of health care regulatory policy, at email@example.com.
Source Link: http://www.asha.org/content.aspx?id=8589977145
ISHA LEGISLATIVE DAY 2018
LEGISLATIVE DAY LUNCHEON AT THE STATE CAPITOL
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2018 - 8:00 am -1:30 pm
ADVOCACY TRAINING: 8:00 am - 11:00 am
LEGISLATIVE LUNCHEON: 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
WHAT: Indiana Speech-Language-Hearing Association
WHEN: Wednesday, January 31st 2018
8:00-11:00 Preparation/training for students or any interested participants
11:30-1:30 Legislative luncheon
WHERE: Indiana State Capitol
200 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Training: Supreme Court Chambers- North end of the third floor
Luncheon: South Atrium - second floor
Directional information within the Capitol;
The second floor is considered the main floor. The rotunda is in the middle, the north atrium is the north side of the building that faces Ohio Street. The Supreme Court is on the 3rd floor north end. This is where we will meet in the morning. Our lunch will be in the South Atrium of the 2nd floor.
There are two public entrances. The Capitol Ave. entrance leads you directly on to the main floor; people will turn right from the rotunda. If you use the Senate Ave. door, which is the first floor (basement), people should turn left when they get through security, take another left, and take elevator to 2nd floor. It opens to the north atrium.
Visit website to get driving directions from your location:
WHY: Every year there is legislation that impacts our profession and those we serve. ISHA is fortunate to be well-represented by our lobbyist, Mark Scherer; but it is the personal stories that only we can share that leave a lasting impression on our legislators. It is imperative that our legislators understand 1) the multifaceted roles of speech pathologists and audiologists 2) who/what ISHA is and what our organization does for our profession and our consumers and 3) current legislation impacting our profession and our patients/clients/consumers. Each year has been better than the last. Let’s make this the BEST. WE CAN DO MORE!
Once your plans to attend are confirmed:
Want to ensure you meet the legislators from your district?
Information for contacting Legislators:
General Assembly information - http://iga.in.gov/
Finding your legislator
https://iga.in.gov/ From here, click on ‘Find Your Legislator’.
This link https://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/ should take you directly there.
Fill in your street address, city, and zip code in the space provided. The site will identify your legislative district, and state and congressional legislators.
Click on the legislator’s name and this will take you to their site where you will find their phone numbers, how to email, and information regarding bills they have sponsored etc.
Indiana State House
200 W. Washington St
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2786
Letters may be addressed to the individual legislator with c/o Indiana House of Representatives or the Indiana Senate.
The TDD Telephone Numbers
TDD (317) 232-0404
TDD (800) 548-9517
Information you need to know:
We cannot enter the building before 7:30.
All visitors are screened using metal detectors.
All bags and packages are screened using x-ray equipment.
Closer but more expensive parking garages:
Embassy Suites (entrances off Capitol and Washington streets)
Hyatt (entrance off Capitol)
Westin (entrance off Washington)
Marriott (entrance off Washington)
Hilton (entrance off Market)
Less expensive but not as close parking garages:
Circle Center Mall Indianapolis has 3 parking garages around the location:
Parking Hours & Rates:
Before 5:00pm Mon. - Fri.
0 - 3 hours $2
3 - 4 hours $4
ISHA Convention 2018
Celebrating Everyday Heroes
Leading the Way with Evidence-Based Practice!
Save the Date!
Click Here to Learn More & Register Now!
Click Here to Download the Exhibitor Prospectus
Sheraton Indianapolis Hotel at Keystone Crossing
8787 Keystone Crossing ~ Indianapolis, IN 46240
Click Here for Directions
To Whom It May Concern:
We are conducting a survey to gain further insight into the knowledge, skills, comfort level, and caseloads of speech-language pathologists working in the area of feeding and swallowing, and the families that receive these services. You were identified as a resource for seeking potential participants. We would greatly appreciate if you could forward the following survey links to your organization. Each link contains more detailed information on the survey, which takes less than ten minutes. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact the research personnel.
Speech-Language Pathologist Survey Link:
You are eligible to participate if you are a licensed speech-language pathologist. Even if you are not currently seeing individuals with feeding and swallowing difficulties you are still eligible to participate as this is one focus of this study. The purpose of this survey is to gain further insight into the knowledge, skills, comfort level, and caseloads of speech-language pathologists working in this area and families receiving these services. Your participation involves a short survey that includes questions pertaining to basic demographics, your experience with feeding and swallowing disorders, caseload, and comfort level. It is estimated participation will take less than 10 minutes.
Feeding and Swallowing Therapy SLP Survey
Thank you in advance for your support and time.
Andrea Seagren, BS
Utah State University
Feeding & Swallowing Lab
IRB Approval - Feeding and Swallowing Survey - Utah State University .pdf
As a speech-language pathologist working with children with speech sound disorders in the US/Canada, you are invited to complete a short anonymous online survey about the treatment approaches that you use to treat Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS).
Participation is voluntary. For information on the survey and to complete the anonymous online survey, please visit: https://sydneyhealthsciences.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6MsXYIhPczlaXDn
The research has been approved by the University of Sydney Human Ethics Research Committee (project 2017/832). Anyone with concerns about research at the University of Sydney can contact the Human Research Ethics Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The University of Sydney, Australia
ethics approval-CAS survey.pdf
Participant information statement (USA_Canada)_v2 pdf.pdf
New and Revised CPT Codes For 2018
The following are additions and deletions to speech-language pathology related Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes and modifiers, effective January 1, 2018.
New CPT Codes
The following new CPT code will replace current CPT code 97532 (cognitive skills development, each 15 minutes).
97127 Therapeutic interventions that focus on cognitive function (e.g., attention, memory, reasoning, executive function, problem solving, and/or pragmatic functioning) and compensatory strategies to manage the performance of an activity (e.g., managing time or schedules, initiating, organizing and sequencing tasks), direct (one-on-one) patient contact
Deleted CPT Codes
97532 Development of cognitive skills to improve attention, memory, problem solving (includes compensatory training), direct (one-on-one) patient contact, each 15 minutes
Revised CPT Codes
No speech-language pathology codes have been revised for 2018.
New Medicare G-code for Cognitive Treatment
G0515 Development of cognitive skills to improve attention, memory, problem solving (includes compensatory training), direct (one-on-one) patient contact, each 15 minutes
See ASHA's 2018 Medicare Fee Schedule for SLPs, published in mid-November, for further details.
I'm sure you've seen this proposal on tax reform for graduate schools come across your email through one organization or another. Basically the proposition would really hurt those who have assistantships, as they would be taxed for their tuition waiver AND stipend. Obviously, this is not super feasible for a graduate student who may already be struggling to make ends meet.
We need to take action and it needs to be quick (by November 30th)
Here are some options to make your voice heard by your senator:
Fill out one, fill out both but do it!
If you have time, look up your senators and call -- means a lot more than a form email.
Let me know if you have questions!!
Graduate Assistant, University Residences Support Center
Doctoral Candidate of Audiology, Purdue University
The Indiana Speech-Language-Hearing Association is now offering the opportunity to receive ASHA approved online CEUs from MedBridge at a discounted rate of $95/year!
Please CLICK HERE to see the
ISHA MedBridge brochure for more information.
If you are interested in this offer, please click on the link below (or copy it into your browser's address bar) and click "Subscribe Now" to choose the MedBridge plan that best fits your continuing education needs.
CLICK HERE*---> https://www.medbridgeeducation.com/islha
*Please make sure to use/copy the exact link above. This link automatically includes your promo code at checkout. Helpful hint: if you do not see your promo code on the cart page when clicking on your affiliate link then you have not applied it properly.
Audiology online CEUs are coming soon!
Please contact Joey Box, ISHA VP of Professional Development, at email@example.com
To support and empower members to provide the highest quality, life changing communication, swallowing and hearing services to the people of the State of Indiana.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Phone: 855-727-2836
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