PROFILES OF STATE AUDIOLOGY INITIATIVES IN ADVOCACY AND OUTREACH

PROFILES OF STATE AUDIOLOGY INITIATIVES IN ADVOCACY AND OUTREACH

The State Relations Committee (SRC) of the American Academy of Audiology reconceptualized the previously-branded annual State Fair into the new State Showcase that had been ready to launch at AAA 2020 in New Orleans.  In addition to the networking opportunities, the Showcase was to include panels of representatives from state audiology groups presenting highlights of state-level advocacy and outreach efforts.  The SRC intended these panel presentations to stimulate discussion among attendees to identify common priorities and to share strategies for policy advocacy. 

To identify topics for the panels in the State Showcase and to solicit participation by state representatives, the SRC circulated to state groups a questionnaire in early 2020.  This document reflects a compilation of the returned state questionnaires.  Although this information is now several months old and the status of specific bills or priorities referenced may have changed, the SRC believes that is still important to make this information available to the broader audience to highlight the range of advocacy and outreach efforts undertaken by our state colleagues. 

The following pages include state profile information provided through the SRC-generated questionnaire.  While seeking updates on all key initiatives within the state group, the SRC asked about the status of activities related to several key issues known to be common across multiple states:  State hearing health insurance mandates, state scope of practice, the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact (ASLP-IC), LEAD-K legislation, reimbursement-related issues, and public outreach/awareness.  Information on the profile forms is organized by these topic areas and other initiatives.

The SRC is asking state groups to provide video updates on initiatives, and the intention is to add these updates regularly on the web site to accompany the profile forms.  The SRC will ask state groups to complete the state profile annually.  As well, plans are underway for virtual and in-person State Showcase activities for 2021. 

STATE PROFILES

Advocacy Contact(s)
Hollea Ryan hryan@samford.edu
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Licensing Board
 
Issues currently following:
ASLP-IC – Interstate Licensure Compact for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
None reported.
Advocacy Contact(s)
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
Coalition
Issues currently following:
State hearing health insurance mandates
A bill possibly being introduced in Arizona
 
ASLP-IC – Interstate Licensure Compact for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
Arizona just moved through committee to grandfather licensure
 
Reimbursement-related issues
Ensuring language is in for balance billing and ensuring commercial insurance cannot block the mandate
 
Public outreach/awareness
Trying to educate Arizona audiologists 
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
None reported.
Advocacy Contact(s)
Hope Childs Gillison hopegillison@gmail.com
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Audiology Academy
 
Issues currently following:
State hearing health insurance mandates
 
State scopes of practice for audiology
 
Reimbursement-related issues
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
None reported.
Advocacy Contact(s)
Marcia Raggio marcia.raggio@ucsf.edu
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Audiology Academy
State Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Licensing Board
 
Issues currently following:
State hearing health insurance mandates
Pediatric hearing aid bill being considered by governor.  Licensing board looking into third party billing for hearing aids.  Getting audiology services added back as reimbursable under Medicaid. Working group addressing the backlog and denials of authorizations through the California Children’s Services program for cochlear implants, BAHA and other specialty items like CROS.
 
ASLP-IC – Interstate Licensure Compact for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
California has a shortage of audiologists, so reciprocity with other states would be beneficial.  Currently, audiologists new to California have to have passed the Praxis in the last five years in order to get licensed. 
 
Public outreach/awareness
            No active campaigns, but CAA is supportive.
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
None reported.
Advocacy Contact(s)
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Audiology Academy
 
Issues currently following:
State scopes of practice for audiology
Licensure is currently in sunset, so state academy representatives attended hearings at the Capitol.
 
ASLP-IC – Interstate Licensure Compact for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
Colorado representative attended the webinar series hosted by AAA about ASLP-IC.
 
Public outreach/awareness
President will be interviewed on local radio station about hearing healthcare and audiology.
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
None reported.         
Advocacy Contact(s)
Kathleen Riley rileyk18@comcast.net
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Speech-Language-Hearing Association
EHDI
 
Issues currently following:
ASLP-IC – Interstate Licensure Compact for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
            Attempting to identify state legislators to sponsor compact bill
LEAD-K legislation
Working with Deaf community and supporting the model AG Bell/LEAD-K Bill
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
Only 2 audiologists belong to the state Speech-Language Hearing Association, so there is very little audiology activity.             
Advocacy Contact(s)
Devon Weist dlweist@usf.edu
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Audiology Academy
 
Issues currently following:
State hearing health insurance mandates
Third year legislation was introduced to require insurance coverage for hearing aids for children.  Our Senate bill (SB 1006) died in Appropriations March 2020.  The House bill (HB 125) died in Health Market Reform Subcommittee March 2020.
 
State scopes of practice for audiology
Working with licensing board on rules and regulations for audiology assistants, specifically to allow them to work remotely under audiologist’s supervision.   
 
ASLP-IC – Interstate Licensure Compact for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
FLAA on licensing board agenda for April 2020 regarding ASLIP-IC and will make further determinations after that meeting. 
 
LEAD-K legislation
It has not been proposed in Florida, but FLAA is monitoring.  Parent groups have voiced opposition to LEAD-K.
 
Reimbursement-related issues
 
Public outreach/awareness
FLAA has asked members to write short articles for press release to both educate the public and legislators about audiology as well as keep audiology in the minds of those in the communities. 
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
Membership/networking initiative
VP of Membership started initiative for audiologists to gather in happy hour type setting (regardless of FLAA membership status).  This fosters networking, discussion opportunities about audiology related needs/issues, as well as an opportunity to recruit members.
Social Media
VP of Communications brought back social media platforms to increase member involvement which helped tremendously in getting HA legislation passed.  
Advocacy Contact(s)
Deborah Woodward deborah@ngaudiology.com
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Audiology Academy
State Speech-Language-Hearing Association
 
Issues currently following:
State scopes of practice for audiology
 
ASLP-IC – Interstate Licensure Compact for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
 
Reimbursement-related issues
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
None reported.
Advocacy Contact(s)
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Audiology Academy
State Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Licensing Board
Coalition
 
Issues currently following:
State hearing health insurance mandates
Worked on a Medicaid billing issue that is before the Kentucky Department of Medicaid Services
 
State scopes of practice for audiology
HB217:  Dual Licensure
 
ASLP-IC – Interstate Licensure Compact for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
HB218
 
Public outreach/awareness
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
None reported
Advocacy Contact(s)
Steve Madix smadix@latech.edu
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Audiology Academy
 
Issues currently following:
State hearing health insurance mandates
Legislative lobby efforts with key elected officials.  Held annual day at the Capitol even.
 
State scopes of practice for audiology
Routinely engage with licensure board concerning discrepancies between state and national scopes of practice as well as maintaining currency of state scope of practice,
 
ASLP-IC – Interstate Licensure Compact for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
            Providing lobbyist to licensure board to pursue inclusion in the compact.
 
LEAD-K legislation
Not active in Louisiana, but monitoring for movement.
 
Reimbursement-related issues
Passed the Patient Choice Act allowing insurance holders to pay the difference in technology costs for hearing aids above and beyond what their plan allows, thus successful in balance billing initiative.
 
Public outreach/awareness

Annual day at the Capitol. Working with state SAA chapters to generate public awareness projects.

Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):

None reported

Advocacy Contact(s)
Erica Bennett ebennet3@hfhs.org
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Audiology Academy
 
Issues currently following:
State hearing health insurance mandates
Hired a lobbyist and looking at possible legislation to support this effort
 
ASLP-IC – Interstate Licensure Compact for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
Looking to support this, but currently no actions pending.
 
LEAD-K legislation
Actively working against a modified LEAD-K bill introduced to the Michigan House.
 
Public outreach/awareness
Running public radio and social media campaigns about audiology.
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
None reported.
Advocacy Contact(s)
Rebecca Younk rebecca.younk@associated-hearing.com
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Audiology Academy
 
Issues currently following:
State hearing health insurance mandates
 
State scopes of practice for audiology
 
ASLP-IC – Interstate Licensure Compact for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
 
Reimbursement-related issues
 
Public outreach/awareness
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
None reported. 
Advocacy Contact(s)
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
None reported.
 
Issues currently following:
None reported.
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
None reported.
Advocacy Contact(s)
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Audiology Academy
State Speech-Language-Hearing Association
NJ Division of Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing
 
Issues currently following:
LEAD-K legislation
Working with state speech and hearing association.
 
Public outreach/awareness
Posting on state academy website and state speech-language hearing website.  Communication and outreach with NJ HLAA.  Interaction with NJ Division of Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing.
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
None reported.
Advocacy Contact(s)
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Speech-Language-Hearing Association
 
Issues currently following:
State hearing health insurance mandates
Routinely contact membership to solicit state representatives and senators.  Defeated legislation to halt cuts to Medicaid and Fidelis.
 
State scopes of practice for audiology
Soliciting state licensing board to update both professional status as well as scope of practice to reflect doctor level professionals.  Scope of practice is currently under review by association board of directors.
 
ASLP-IC – Interstate Licensure Compact for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
Developed a position statement in support of the compact.
 
LEAD-K legislation
Board of directors developed a position statement on LEAD-K legislation and lobbyists are working toward these goals.
 
Reimbursement-related issues
Developing a workshop specifically for NY AuDs to learn about, discuss and develop a working strategy regarding reimbursement issues and specifically third party billing for hearing aids. Planning for the first annual NYSSLHA meeting specifically for AuDs in the fall.
 
Public outreach/awareness
NYSSLHA working on outreach to bolster declining membership.  Working to develop public service announcements and “news blasts” to the public and clientele. 
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
None reported.  
Advocacy Contact(s)
Philip Griffin philipg@med.unc.edu
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Audiology Academy
State Speech-Language-Hearing Association
 
Issues currently following:
State scopes of practice for audiology
Looking to update/revise the law.
 
ASLP-IC – Interstate Licensure Compact for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
Support.
 
LEAD-K legislation
Monitoring.
 
Public outreach/awareness
Looking for high impact ways to accomplish this.
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
State Advocacy Day
Hired one lobbyist and looking to hire a second.  State advocacy day planned for May 2020.


Advocacy Contact(s)
Christina Roup roup2@osu.edu
Jodi Baxter baxter.216@osu.edu
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Audiology Academy
State Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Licensing Board
Coalition
AG Bell Association
 
Issues currently following:
State hearing health insurance mandates
Supporting active HB 243 to mandate insurance coverage for hearing aids for children
 
State scopes of practice for audiology
OSH-GAC coalition monitoring proposed bill (SB 238) for licensure of art & music therapists potentially allowing them to function in ways that fall under scopes of practice for audiologists and speech-language pathologists.  They are urging members to advocate for change in language pertaining to scope of practice for art & music therapists.
 
ASLP-IC – Interstate Licensure Compact for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
OSH-GAC monitoring ASLIP-IC efforts.  Currently HB 246 is proposed to allow licensure reciprocity in Ohio, but this is not part of ASLP-IC.
 
LEAD-K legislation
AG Bell Association and ACIA state leaders voiced opposition for LEAD-K legislation.  Little forward movement on LEAD-K bill that was proposed in 2015 and language modified in 2018 by AG Bell Association.
 
Reimbursement-related issues
State academy and coalition partners monitor reimbursement issues in proposed bills.  Feedback was requested for HB 243due to the nature of provision of hearing aids.  Coalition also monitors bills related to Medicaid copays and reimbursement.
 
Public outreach/awareness
State Academy offers presentations available to members for download for the purpose of outreach to providers.  Two of the presentations include “Hearing Loss in Children and Adults” and “Noise Induced Hearing Loss.”
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
Licensure board consolidation
There were efforts to consolidate the licensure board across multiple disciplines to cut costs at the state government level.  The initial proposed Ohio Speech and Hearing Board make-up included equal representation of other hearing healthcare professionals (ie: HIS).  Coalition efforts resulted in securing more voting seats on the licensure board for representation of audiologists.
Audiology assistants
Significant efforts put forth to get licensure status for audiology assistants (as opposed to an audiology aide) to allow for expansion of scope of practice and support Ohio audiologists.  Currently re-assessing how to approach this issue on the state level to align with Ohio’s want for limited government regulation.
Advocacy Contact(s)
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Audiology Academy
 
Issues currently following:
State scopes of practice for audiology
Attended state licensure board meetings
 
Public outreach/awareness
Attended various events to raise audiology awareness
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
None reported
Advocacy Contact(s)
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Audiology Academy
 
Issues currently following:
State hearing health insurance mandates
 
State scopes of practice for audiology
 
ASLP-IC – Interstate Licensure Compact for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
 
Reimbursement-related issues
            Working to support/pass HR4056/S2446
 
Public outreach/awareness
            Working to support/pass HR4056/S2446; Lobby day; working with universities
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
PAA is planning a 2020 convention with a section dedicated to student involvement in advocacy
Advocacy Contact(s)
Angela Zuendt azuendt@gmail.com
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Audiology Academy
 
Issues currently following:
State hearing health insurance mandates
 
State scopes of practice for audiology
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
None reported
Advocacy Contact(s)
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Audiology Academy
State Speech-Language-Hearing Association
 
Issues currently following:
State hearing health insurance mandates
 
ASLP-IC – Interstate Licensure Compact for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
 
LEAD-K legislation
 
Reimbursement-related issues
 
Public outreach/awareness
            Attempting to put together a social media campaign.
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
None reported.
Advocacy Contact(s)
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Audiology Academy
 
Issues currently following:
State hearing health insurance mandates
 
State scopes of practice for audiology
 
ASLP-IC – Interstate Licensure Compact for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
 
LEAD-K legislation
 
Reimbursement-related issues
 
Public outreach/awareness
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
None reported.
 

Advocacy Contact(s)
 
Audiology-related organizations actively involved in advocacy and/or public awareness efforts:
State Audiology Academy
State Speech-Language-Hearing Association
 
Issues currently following:
State hearing health insurance mandates
 
State scopes of practice for audiology
 
Reimbursement-related issues
 
Public outreach/awareness
 
Other initiatives (professional issues and related to audiology awareness):
None reported.