OHIO SPEECH AND HEARING GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS COALITION
♦ WHO WE ARE:
Founded in 1982, OSHGAC is a coalition of speech and hearing professionals. Our member organizations include: the Ohio Speech-Language-Hearing Association (OSHLA), with 900+ members; the Ohio School Speech Pathology and Educational Audiology Coalition (OSSPEAC) with 600+ members; the Ohio Academy of Audiology (OAA), with 200+ members; and the Ohio Council of Speech and Hearing Administrators (OCSHA), with 4 members.
♦ CRITICAL ISSUES IN 2020:
Support HB 243 - House Bill 243 requires commercial insurance plans to cover hearing aids for children up to age 21. The bill provides for coverage of hearing aids up to $2500/aid every 48 months. Research shows that children with hearing loss and late or no intervention cost the state more than $400,000 per child in special education costs by the time they graduate high school. 23 other states have passed legislation similar to HB 243; in those states, insurance premiums have only risen 5¢-39¢ per member/per month.
School Shortages – Across Ohio, school districts and ESCs are experiencing a shortage of “related service providers,” including speech-language pathologists and audiologists. This shortage will reach a crisis point in the next 2-5 years as more practitioners retire. ODE’s Related Services Shortage Task report was released in November 2019, and we hope that the legislature will focus attention on legislation implementing the reports recommendations surrounding education, recruitment and retention of practitioners in the schools.
Oppose SB 238 – Senate Bill 238 seeks Ohio licensure for music and art therapists. As written the bill contains scope of practice parameters that infringe on the SLP and Audiology scopes of practice. Without revisions to redefine these parameters in a way that does not impact our existing scopes, we oppose SB 238.
Support HB 436 - 30% of children with speech and language disorders can expect to be diagnosed with reading disorder in elementary school. In schools, speech-language pathologists play a critical role in diagnosing and treating dyslexia. Literacy outcomes for the children of Ohio stand to benefit from multidisciplinary teams charged with screening, diagnosing, and treating dyslexia and other reading disorders.
Increase Medicaid SLP reimbursement - HCPCS Code 92507 for individual speech therapy is reimbursed at $37.03 by Ohio Medicaid. That rate is woefully inadequate and has not been changed since 2010.
Find Your Ohio Representative
- Go to www.legislature.ohio.gov
- On the right side of the home page, look for the “Who Represents Me” box
- Enter your address with your zip code +4 It is essential that you enter the +4 digits since it will narrow the search down to your exact legislators. If you don’t know your extra 4 digits, go to https://tools.usps.com/zip-code-lookup.htm?byaddress and enter your address; it will give you the +4 digits. Once you’ve found your zip +4 on the USPS website, return to the Ohio Legislature website and enter that full address.
- You will then see the name of your Representative on the left side of the screen on the House District Map (You do not need to contact your Senator at this time).
- Click on the Representative’s name. This will bring up his/her legislative website.
- On the left side of the Representative’s individual information page, look for the Representative’s contact information. You will see the Representative’s telephone number for their Columbus office. You will also see a link that says, “Email Representative X.” Click that link and it will take you to the email contact form.
- Be sure to include your address on the form; this is how the Senator knows that you are a constituent.
CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSPERSON!
ASHA has made the process of contacting your senator or congressman/woman very easy. By the way, this section of the ASHA website works for both members and nonmembers. Follow the steps below to contact your representative today:
- Log onto www.asha.org.
- Click on “Members & Professionals” Menu (across the top of the screen).
- Select “Legislation & Advocacy” from the drop down menu.
- A new page will open. On the left menu bar select “Take Action.”
- A new page will open with links for public/non-ASHA members and also for ASHA members to write letters.
- Follow the on-screen steps.
You can do it! Send a letter today!
Lastest News About Legislation
GREAT TIPS FOR BEING AN ADVOCATE!
Invite your legislator out to tour and visit your workplace or school. Invite them to see the irreplaceable and crucial services you provide to the development of our young people. Let them view, first hand, how we are preparing them to be fully functioning, beneficial, active and independent, members of the workplace and society!
Check out the handy instructions for hosting your legislator!