Legislation in Action

OSLHA Advocacy Representatives

For more information or questions on legislative or advocacy issues, contact your OSLHA GAC reps anytime!

  • Amy Tepper, Ed.D., CCC-SLP
  • Chelsea Bailey, OSLHA Executive Director
  • Maggie Kettler, AuD, FAAA

 

To call or write your legislator, visit: www.legislature.ohio.gov

Current Legislative/Regulatory Activity

The SAFE Act Bill

All Practice Areas

 

The Ohio Senate voted on Jan 24, 2024 to override Governor DeWine’s veto of HB 68. The final vote was 24-8 in favor of an override.

No emergency clause was added to the bill, so it will follow the traditional timeline and go into effect in 90 days.


The Ohio House vote to overturn Governor DeWine’s veto of HB 68 occurred on Jan 10, 2024. Those in favor of overturning the veto garnered 65 votes, enough to complete an overturn.


Governor DeWine vetoed HB68: The SAFE Act Bill.  However, the Ohio House is planning on convening to discuss overriding the veto. Knowing that the legislature might try this, DeWine signed an executive order banning surgeries on minors with gender dysphoria and he submitted several administrative rules that require comprehensive therapy before treatments of a minor can begin, as well as a review with a patient of the potential risks for informed consent.

Learn More About This Bill at: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/135/hb68

 

The Ohio State Fair Increases Accessibility

All Practice Areas

 

Ensuring the Ohio State Fair welcomes Ohioans of all abilities remains a focus of our annual fair, Gov. Mike DeWine said in a statement last year.

“Inclusivity lies at the heart of it all in Ohio,” he said. “The accessibility of our Ohio State Fair allows Ohioans with disabilities to have equal opportunities to participate so that we do not leave anyone behind.”

Starting in 2023, the event now includes free wheelchair/mobility device charging stations, technology to connect people who are blind or have low vision to an agent who can help with navigation, American Sign Language interpretation, a dedicated sensory-friendly morning, and universal changing tables.  It also continues to offer wheelchair accessible picnic tables, Accessible Play Area, Quite Room, Assisted Listening Devices and more…

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities partnered with the State Fair to ensure changing stations are available in multiple locations throughout the fair. “Since fairgoers usually spend the entire day on the grounds, it’s important that charging stations are available to keep wheelchairs, scooters, and other mobility devices going strong,” OOD Director Kevin Miller said in a statement.

ASL will also be offered at multiple events and a sensory-friendly morning will be offered where Fairgoers will be able to ride the rides with no flashing lights or music. Check out the details and full fair offerings and plan to join us at the annual Ohio State Fair.

 

Ohio Dyslexia Screenings

Schools Practice Areas

 

Ohio children in kindergarten through third grade will be screened for dyslexia during the 2023-2024 school year. And schools must screen students in grades 4-6 if requested by parents or teachers. The reason for this change is because dyslexia is a spectrum and advocates suspect many children aren’t diagnosed. “It is said that about 85% of the kids that struggle with reading, they have dyslexia, and don’t know it,” said Mike McGovern, president of the Columbus branch of the International Dyslexia Association. The initial screening will be short, about five minutes, and it won’t confer a diagnosis of dyslexia, according to the Ohio Department of Education. Instead, the preliminary evaluation will flag children who “may be at risk of reading difficulties such as dyslexia.” These children will be given additional monitoring and interventions. For many students, this will be enough to get them reading, McGovern said. Others will need additional screening that could lead to a diagnosis and special education.  Details on the progress of this effort can be found at: https://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Learning-in-Ohio/Literacy/Dyslexia

 

Autism Scholarship News

All Practice Areas

 

Parents who want to use a voucher for a child with autism will have an easier time. The state budget expanded the list of approved ways children can qualify for Ohio’s Autism Scholarship Program. Children can be identified by their school districts, those with Individual Education Plans that “include services related to autism” and students diagnosed as autistic by a physician or a psychologist.

“In short, any student formally diagnosed as autistic now qualifies for the Autism Scholarship,” according to Disability Rights Ohio. “This major change makes the scholarship accessible to many more families.”

 

Medicaid Reimbursement Rate Increases

All Practice Areas

 

We are thrilled to share one of OSHGAC’s largest successes this year, a lobbying collaboration OSLHA is happy to participate as a member of: Effective January 1, 2024, the Ohio Department of Medicaid has agreed to rate changes for our patients in need of speech and hearing services!  OSHGAC worked directly with the Ohio Department of Medicaid to help our members and the patients they serve.

There are many speech and audiology related codes with rate increases. We want to highlight a few of the changes that may impact your practice.

  • 92507 SPEECH/HEARING THERAPY 57.23
  • 92508 SPEECH/HEARING THERAPY 20.87
  • V5256 HEARING AID, DIGITAL, MONAURAL, ITE ($763.88)
  • V5257 HEARING AID, DIGITAL, MONAURAL, BTE ($763.88)
  • V5260 HEARING AID, DIGITAL, BINAURAL, ITE ($1,527.75)
  • V5261 HEARING AID, DIGITAL, BINAURAL, BTE ($1,527.75)

 

Another very important and significant change is that the hearing aid rate will be the same for all Ohioans, regardless of age.   Previously, adults hearing aid rates were reimbursed at 50% of children rates.  This change will allow for better care and access for all! Complete List of Impacted Codes

We appreciate the Ohio Department of Medicaid’s efforts and support.  We also recognize that there is more work to be done and look forward to partnering with them to increase rates for other codes.

 

Children & Infant Mortality Prevention

All Practice Areas

 

The “Strong Foundations Act” is being promoted to address Ohio’s abysmal maternal and infant mortality rates. Rep. Andrea White (R-Kettering) said Tuesday. “It’s risky business to have a baby in our state. Ohio has some of the worst infant and maternal mortality rates in the entire nation,” White told the House Finance Committee during sponsor testimony on HB7 (White-Humphrey). The bill was reported out of the House Families and Aging Committee in June, and some provisions of the bill were included in the recent state budget proposal. The bill is being considered by the House Finance Committee because it includes a $37.5 million appropriation in FY24 and an $18.5 million appropriation in FY25 for
various programs to improve the health of mothers and infants throughout the state.

ASL Services Added to Ohio's Suicide & Crisis Prevention Lifeline

All Practice Areas

 

Ohio’s 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline has added American Sign Language services for deaf and hard of hearing callers.

To connect directly to a trained 988 Lifeline counselor in ASL, callers who are Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Hard of Hearing, or Late-Deafened
can click the “ASL Now” button on 988lifeline.org and follow the prompts.

Direct dialing to 988 from a videophone will be available in the coming weeks, and in the meantime, ASL callers can call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) from their videophone to reach ASL services.

Retroactive Corrections Being Accepted for Unintentional CCI Edit that Prevented Same-Day Billing of Videofluoroscopic Swallowing Study by SLPs and Radiologists

All Practice Areas

In a recent communication, CMS noted that corrections have been made to an unintentional edit that prevented same-day billing of 92611 and 74230.  We are pleased to report that with the reversal of the CCI edit, Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) and Radiologists will once again be appropriately reimbursed for each distinctly different portion of their professional collaboration during the videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS).  Billing adjustments will be retroactive to January 1, 2020, and the wording will be implemented as soon as technically possible in a future edit update!!

CMS further clarified that claims for same-day billing of 92611 and 74230 must include a modifier to note that the services are separate and distinct. This means that claims for VFSS should include 92611 first on the claim, as the “column 1” code, followed by 74230 with the modifier -59 (or subcategory modifiers) appended.  Additional information on the use of CCI-associated modifiers is available on ASHA’s website.

 


Effective January 1, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented a new National Correct Coding Initiative (CCI) edit that prevents same-day billing of Current Procedural Terminology (CPT ® American Medical Association) codes 74230 (Radiologic examination, swallowing function, with cineradiography/videoradiography) and 92611 (Motion fluoroscopic evaluation of swallowing function by cine or video recording).

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) typically collaborate with radiologists to perform the videofluorscopic swallowing study (VFSS), also called the modified barium swallowing (MBS) study. CPT codes 74230 and 92611 describe the work required to identify the medical diagnosis by the radiologist (74230) and to evaluate swallowing function by the SLP (92611). With the new CCI edit in place, SLPs and radiologists will not be appropriately reimbursed for each distinctly different portion of their professional collaboration during the VFSS.

ASHA is engaging with CMS and the contractor that manages the NCCI program to resolve this issue. In the meantime, ASHA recommends providers continue to submit same-day claims for 92611 and 74230. Because the new CCI edit lists 92611 as the “column 1” code, it should be placed first on the claim, followed by 74230. This means that 92611 should be processed for payment, but 74230 will be denied. If CMS reverses the CCI edit, all claims submitted since January 1, 2020, can be reprocessed for payment of 74230.

Background

The NCCI (or more commonly, CCI) is an automated edit system to control specific procedure code pairs that can or cannot be reported on the same day. CMS developed the system for use in all Medicare Part B (outpatient) and Medicaid claims. See CCI Edits for Speech-Language Pathology Services for additional information on same-day billing restrictions.

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