Notice Regarding Changes to Your License Number
The Kentucky Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology notified KSHA that all licensees will be receiving new license numbers that will become effective immediately.
KSHA was concerned about the possible effects of this on our members and discussed some of these issues with the administrators at the Kentucky Department of Occupations and Professions (O&P). Executive Director Larry Brown said that O&P was fully aware of the complexities of this transition and said the transition was necessary because of upgrades to the O&P computer systems. Director Brown said the former license number will be referred to as the licensee’s “legacy number” and will be interchangeable with the new license number for the immediate future. The legacy number will eventually be phased out but there were no plans to do that at this point. Director Brown indicated that it would be done with caution and with full involvement of the respective Boards of jurisdiction.
O&P also indicated they would work with licensees to resolve any unintended consequences this transition may cause. Licensees should look closely at the information sent from the Board regarding the transition. The licensee will need to update their license number with insurance companies. This could take a great deal of time and be costly to the licensee.
If you have questions about this transition, please contact Renea Sageser, KSHA STAR, at 502-321-2321 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
KSHA will be following these issues closely and posting additional information when it is received.
House Bill 376 – Salary Supplement Bill
Now is the time to contact your state legislators to ask for funding of House Bill 376! KSHA has been actively lobbying for this funding but we need members to get involved by calling, emailing or visiting their legislators.
What Can You Do to Help?
During the 2016 session of the Kentucky General Assembly (i.e., typically lasting from January to April), legislators will vote and pass the 2016-2018 biennial budget. KSHA members should contact their legislators directly via phone, email or face-to-face visits. Ask your legislators to honor the commitment they made to speech-language pathologists and audiologists in 2010 by including funding for House Bill 376 in the 2016-2018 budget.
Visit http://www.lrc.ky.gov/. Use the “Find my Legislator” link to identify the contact information for your Senators and House of Representative members. You may call your legislator at (502)564-8100. To request a copy of a “leave behind” document to distribute to your legislators, email KSHA’s Governmental Relations committee chair at email@example.com. Reach out to your legislators and let your voice be heard!
Contact KSHA’s Governmental Relations/PAC Chair, Kellie Ellis, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill to Permit Reimbursement for Telehealth Services Under Medicare Advantage and Alternative
KSHA members are needed to advocate in support of new bipartisan, bicameral legislation that allows audiologists and speech-language pathologists participating in Medicare Advantage plans and Alternative Payment Models to be reimbursed for providing services through telehealth technology. The CONNECT for Health Act (S. 2484/H.R. 4442) was introduced in the Senate by senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Rodger Wicker (R-MS), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Ben Cardin (D-MD), John Thune (R-SD) and Mark Warner (D-VA). It was introduced in the House by representatives Diane Black (R-TN), Peter Welch (D-VT), Gregg Harper (R-MS) and Mike Thompson (D-CA).
Please write to your senators and representatives to request that they cosponsor this important legislation!
Currently, Medicare only reimburses for telehealth services that are administered from an originating site located in a rural Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) located either outside of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or in a rural census tract or a county outside of a MSA. Telehealth services may only be administered by a select group of practitioners, none of whom are audiologists or speech-language pathologists.
While ASHA is still working towards coverage of telehealth services provided by audiologists and speech-language pathologists under Medicare Part B, this legislation would provide a vehicle for necessary data collection on expenditures and utilization. The Medicare Telehealth Parity Act(H.R. 2948), which has also been supported by ASHA, would make reimbursement to audiologists and speech-language pathologists available under Medicare Part B.
This legislation is the latest bill addressing telehealth services in the 114th Congress. The next step is to garner support from other senators and representatives to help move this bill forward; contact them today!
For more information on this legislation, please contact Sam Hewitt, ASHA’s director of political advocacy, at email@example.com or 202-624-5961.
ASHA is pleased to provide the documents for Essential Coverage: Rehabilitation and Habilitation Services and Devices to be used to explain the role of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) in providing services to clients who require rehabilitation and habilitation services and devices for the purposes of education and advocating within Pennsylvania to maximize coverage of member services. The guide contains the federally adopted definition of rehabilitation and habilitation and provides clinical examples of medically necessary audiology and SLP services under the defined benefit category. The new federal definition provides an opportunity to advocate for expanded coverage of habilitation services that have previously been denied.
Important Notice: Medicaid Postpones Termination of EPSDT Numbers for Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy Waiver Providers
June 12, 2015 (From Veronica Judy Cecil, JD, Chief of Staff, Director, Division of Program Integrity, Dept of Medicaid Services)
Until you hear otherwise, EPSDT providers may continue with current billing practices for physical, occupational and speech therapy services. DMS will not terminate EPSDT numbers on June 30, 2015 for those providers serving fee-for-service members in the Medicaid Waiver Programs. However, if you have an appropriate provider type number for those services, please submit requests for authorization and bill under that provider type number.
For providers with a prior authorization (PA) that was end-dated, you may request an extension of the PA or a new PA under your current EPSDT number. If you already received a PA under the new provider number, that will remain effective. In addition,Carewise has been given instructions to approve PAs for up to 90 days, where appropriate, effective for requests after June 11, 2015.
The Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) sent provider letters dated October 28, 2014 and March 20, 2015 regarding Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (ESPDT) benefits and coverage of services under the State Plan. The letters instructed providers with an EPSDT (PT-45) number to obtain an appropriate provider type number to provide services and submit claims for State Plan services. Some of those services included physical, occupational and speech therapies.
DMS gave providers until June 30, 2015 to apply for the appropriate provider type number. The letters may be found at the following links:
Certificate of Need (CON)
- OHP – Form #1
- OHP – Form #2
- Private Office/Clinic Con and Licensure Exemption
- Rehabilitation Agencies: Initial Licensure and Certification Processes
Kentucky is one of three states that has had a Certificate of Need (CON) requirement for practices in medical settings for several decades. Under the current statute, practitioners are required to obtain a CON if:
- A practitioner employs other clinicians outside his/her scope of practice who do not have ownership in the group (EX: SLP in practice with OT employees), or
- A practitioner has a business partnership with a non-practitioner employing other practitioners (EX: SLP husband with wife as part owner who is not a SLP).
Exemption is permitted for those partnerships in which the practitioners are working within their own scope of practice, regardless of employee numbers. For example, a SLP and PT are partners and only provide SLP and PT services themselves and/or with other employed practitioners. If they were to hire an OT, a CON would be required.
It is believed that many practitioners are unknowingly out of compliance with the statute. The Cabinet of Health and Family Services recognizes there is confusion on the topic and practitioners may not have had all the information required to know if a CON was required for their practice. The immediate recommendation of the Cabinet is that practitioners request a CON as appropriate to come into compliance. Information is provided on the KSHA website, including the form for making this request. This would not impact school practitioners, but would include those in First Steps practices meeting the requirements above.
Questions with regard to the CON process and feasibility study requirement should be submitted to the Cabinet at http://chfs.ky.gov/ohp/con/.
KSHA has partnered with the Kentucky Physical Therapy Association and the Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association to request inclusion in the CON exemption status for our professions. Comments from this alliance have been provided to the Cabinet. All comments submitted to the Cabinet are viewable at http://chfs.ky.gov/ohp/con/conres.htm. It is important to note that it is unlikely there will be any immediate change in the requirements. It is highly recommended that if you believe a CON is required for your practice that you begin the CON process.
We want to support the Cabinet’s goals for improved access, quality, and value of care for the Commonwealth. However, we believe the CON process inhibits these goals by being in conflict with direct access as well as burdensome for practitioners. KSHA will continue to advocate for the exemption and keep you informed of any changes.
KSHA Salary Supplement Funding Project Webinar
Following are links to the KSHA Salary Supplement Funding Project Webinar. Please note depending on your web browser you may note be able to view and hear the webinar. The slides have also been provided. Based on your browser, it may take up to one minute for the presentation to download and begin.
Click here to view the webinar.