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  • APTA Joins OT and SLP Groups to Provide Input on Future Health Care Legislation

    As the debate about the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its replacement—if any—begins to take center stage in Washington, APTA and 2 other therapy organizations have joined together to urge the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to focus on access to "affordable, high-quality, and patient-centered health insurance coverage" that includes strong habilitation and rehabilitation components.

    In a letter to Secretary Tom Price dated March 7, APTA, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) make the case for the importance of patient access to habilitation and rehabilitation as crucial components of "high-quality affordable health care that meets their needs." The letter describes how the value of habilitation and rehabilitation services was "widely acknowledged" when these services were included as essential health benefits under the ACA, and advocates for similar inclusion in any future health insurance plan.

    "To preserve current access, we strongly advise the inclusion of coverage of occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology for the purposes of both habilitation and rehabilitation services and devices in any action to reform the individual and small-group markets," the letter states. The associations describe their professions collectively as representing "the overwhelming majority of therapy providers."

    "The Republican health care plan has just been introduced, so we are very early in what will likely be a very long and contentious process," said Justin Elliott, APTA's vice president of government affairs. "However, we think it's important to engage in and advocate for what we believe should be considered as part of any ACA reform effort. Obviously, continued, affordable access to habilitation and rehabilitation services is in the best interests of our patients."

    Elliott said that APTA, AOTA, and ASHA will continue to work together on areas of mutual interest as the debate moves forward.


    • Most children will be "covered" by government-funded programs other than the ACA. If Therapy Organizations truly want Independence of Thought, Research, and Patient Treatment, they will ONLY support Full Repeal of the ACA, with deregulation of the insurance market, and NO Replacement. The government has no Constitutional power to decide matters of healthcare or health insurance.

      Posted by K Daly-McEver on 3/8/2017 5:30 PM

    • I hope your efforts helps but having Tom Price in charge of HHS it may just fall on deaf ears. It's going to be a challenge to show this political group that all people have a right to affordable services no matter their income status.

      Posted by Tom on 3/8/2017 5:38 PM

    • This is our response? Save PT? The business of PT is represented by the APTA over the health and independence of those whom we serve? And THEN, without patients FIRST, we have no business either. Respect for the dignity and RIGHTS of our ciients/patients is the FIRST tenet of our Code of Ethics. An improved ACA or any Plan that enhances access, not only to PT but basic healthcare itself, is ethically what we need to support.

      Posted by Susan S. Kinosian on 3/9/2017 1:38 PM

    • If you are not part of the discussion, you cannot be part of the solution. It's ALWAYS best to share where you stand early on, instead of when decisions have already been made. Also, partnering up with like-minded organizations is a plus.

      Posted by Mac on 3/9/2017 2:02 PM

    • Either we provide insurance for low income patients through tax dollars and offer therapies that are planned according to protocol(ie degenerative hip-THR-rehab) OR we will be providing them after an emergency room visit at a much higher cost(fall, fracture, surgery rehab) through higher hospital charges to patients who have insurance to compensate for the "free" care hospitals are mandated to provide to those who show up at their ERs without coverage.

      Posted by Beth Hoppe-Stidham on 3/22/2017 5:37 PM

    • "Just a spoonful of sugar(conservative Republicans) helped the medicine go down (Trumpcare)"!!

      Posted by Ralph Lucarelli on 3/25/2017 6:42 AM

    • Good to see that the " Rehabilitation" team of Therapists( P.T. O.T. S.T.)( and we seem to forget R.T. as part of the Rehabilitaiton team). are finally working together as a Team to provide quality care to patients. The Affordable Care Act continued to try to unify the delivery of care so as to make it available for all in need of Healthcare. Regulation is needed to prevent the greed of Human Beings from destroying society and the Human Right of being treated when one is sick with efficient, proper/ exacting treatments. As the Hippocratic Oath states " Do No Harm". All HealthCare professionals in the United States of America should have the Hippocratic Oath as part of their professional standard of practice not just Doctors/ Physicians.

      Posted by Anne A. Kenny on 4/20/2017 10:13 AM

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