Occupational Therapy Students and Faculty on Capitol Hill
Earlier this year, Congress passed landmark healthcare reform legislation. While this legislation formed a sketch of what healthcare policy will look like, specific details have yet to be drawn. As a result, astute healthcare providers and advocates are informing their legislators about the potential roles they can play in the emerging healthcare economy.
Each year, members of the American Occupational Therapy Association go to Capitol Hill to speak with their legislators about congressional policies and bills relevant to their field. This year, the School of Health and Medical Sciences sent nineteen graduate students and five faculty members from the Department of Occupational Therapy to join 400 occupational therapy students and practitioners in Washington DC on September 20, 2010, for Capitol Hill Day. The group met with the legislative aides of of both senators and eight congressmen about the role of occupational therapy in healthcare, extending the Medicare Part B therapy caps exceptions process, and encouraging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to withdraw the 2011 Physician's Fee Schedule.
Initial feedback from the American Occupational Therapy Association was very positive; Chuck Willmarth, Director of State Affairs, reported that grass roots efforts have afforded AOTA the opportunity to meet with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding the Physician's Fee Schedule. Further movement on the therapy caps exceptions process will occur when Congress reconvenes after the mid-term elections.
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