Legislative text of the end-of-year omnibus spending package was released in the early morning hours on December 20, 2022. This legislative package that will continue to fund the federal government is expected to pass both Houses and be signed into law before the start of the 118th Congress that begins in 2023.
This legislative package:
- Includes the main provisions of the Allied Healthcare Workforce Diversity Act.
This is a bill that the Academy has been actively supporting and working with our colleagues in other allied health professions to advance. This will provide funding to increase educational opportunities in audiology and physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy and speech-language pathology. This may include offering scholarships or stipends and carrying out other activities to improve retention, for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds or individuals who are underrepresented in such professions.
- Continues Medicare’s expanded access to telehealth by extending COVID-19 telehealth flexibilities (including for audiology) for an additional two years, through December 31, 2024.
- Provides partial relief from imminent 2023 Medicare reimbursement cuts. The Academy joined with a large coalition of other physician and non-physician providers urging Congress to eliminate the entire expected 4.5 percent reduction to Medicare payment rates. Rather than eliminating the entire reduction, affected providers will face a 2 percent cut in 2023 and in 2024 the amount will increase to 3.5 percent. PAYGO cuts have also been postponed for two years.
Amid rising concerns about data privacy within the telehealth arena, the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) released a set of principles to ensure patient data is protected during telehealth utilization. The ATA’s Health Data Privacy Principles include six components: The ATA states that a federal policy would offer much-needed consistency in data privacy practices for telehealth providers…
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released a joint publication that provides guidance and practical advice to all entities that collect, share, or use consumer information. Collecting, Using, or Sharing Consumer Health Information gathers all of the various legal obligations in one place and focuses on…
Congressional White Paper Recommends a Sector-by-Sector Approach to Regulating Artificial Intelligence
Senate Health Committee ranking Republican Bill Cassidy (LA) released a white paper on September 6 suggesting Congress refrain from crafting a government-wide approach to overseeing artificial intelligence and only step in when an agency’s oversight falls short, such as filling gaps in U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) ability to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) as…