TODAY'S BUZZ:

A New OSLHA Website Will Be Arriving Soon!
We are very excited to announce that a new OSLHA Website will be revealed soon and we are excited to streamline the membership process with personalized accounts & membership renewals integrated into the new site, as well!  

Please Note** that membership accounts will now require you to have an active email address!  If you do not have one, please consider creating a free email address online for use exclusively with your OSLHA Membership. 

We will begin use of our new site by accepting membership renewals on the new site.  Therefore, we will not be making renewal available through the current website.   Please await renewal instructions to arrive via email before renewing your membership for the upcoming year!

OSLHA 2017 Annual Convention CEU Attendance Was Collected Online Before April 15th and Certificates of Attendance Have Been Emailed!
Over 750 professionals from around the state and across the nation joined us for our 71st Annual Convention, New Horizons, March 30-April 1, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, OH!  Attendance confirmations were requested by attendees online before April 15th and Certificates of attendance have been sent by email and have also been relayed to the professional registries for those who elected this additional processing option. Please be aware that separate certificates are sent for General Convention Attendance and Ethics to ensure ASHA and the OBSLPA can identify your attendance in these courses for renewal purposes!

GOP Health Plan Could Put School Health Services at Risk:
House Republicans this week may release a revised version of their health-care plan, which could jeopardize funding for school health services in Ohio. According to a report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, Ohio schools receive more than $51 million in federal Medicaid funding to pay for speech therapy, mental-health services and wellness screenings for eligible students. The plan from House Republicans, known as the American Health Care Act, proposes changes that would cap or cut federal Medicaid funding. Learn More...

OSLHA Biennial Research Grant Applications Continue To Be Accepted For Consideration Through the Day June 1st!
OSLHA is very pleased to continue its biennial Research Grant Seed Money Award for the upcoming 2017/18 year. We want to demonstrate our investment and commitment to the important research accomplished by our professions and will do so by awarding a research grant up to $1500 to one professional, Doctoral student, Graduate student or undergraduate student during the 2017/18 year.   Learn More Online...

OSLHA Program of Advocacy & Leadership for Students (PALS) Now Available Thanks to a Generous ASHA Grant:
In an effort to promote student participation in advocacy and leadership activities, The Ohio Speech-Language and Hearing Association (OSLHA), would like to extend an opportunity to undergraduate and graduate students in Communication Sciences & Disorders (CSD), Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology programs in the state of Ohio to apply for the OSLHA Program of Advocacy & Leadership for Students (PALS). The PALS provides OSLHA with an opportunity to mentor two students from each of the CSD undergraduate and/or SLP and Aud graduate programs in Ohio. Learn More About This Program and Eligibility and Apply Before May 30th!...

EHDI Reauthorization Takes First Step-Help Keep the Bill Moving:
This morning, April 26, legislation to reauthorize the federal portion of newborn infant hearing screening programs in all 50 states for the next five years, was passed out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and now awaits scheduling for a vote before the full Senate. The leading Senate sponsors of the bill, the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Act of 2017 (S. 652), are Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tim Kaine (D-VA). It now needs to be brought up for a full vote in the U.S. Senate in order to advance the program's reauthorization. Please Take Action NOW, and urge your Senators to ask for a full vote in the Senate as soon as possible.  Learn More...

Pediatric Speech and Audiology Services Missing in Many Health Insurance Coverage Plans:
ASHA has recently published an educational brochure focused on ensuring that employers are selecting employee health insurance plans that cover pediatric Speech-Language and Audiology services. Speech and Audiology professionals are encouraged to confirm their employer-provided insurance plans cover these valuable speech and hearing services.  Consider sharing the brochure with your employer as an opportunity to open the lines of communication on this important topic and/or in the event you find your policy does not include this type of coverage for you and your loved ones.  You may also find it valuable to provide this resource to your clients to advocate for the inclusion of pediatric coverage policies at their place of employment, as well!

Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Disorders in the Schools Research Project Taking Place:
This research activity is designed to analyze the current practices of professionals working in the schools with children ages 3-21 who may exhibit feeding and swallowing disorders, (not eating disorders). We are seeking out schools-based professionals to particiapte in a data collection survey.  The survey is comprised of 21 multiple choice and short answer questions which will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Learn more or participate in the the survey at: https://marshall.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_5b6fJQC6qZG1A21

Help Us Ensure HB 49 Does Not Contain Super Board Legislation:
As many of you know, the legislature made an attempt to pass legislation to consolidate regulatory boards during the lame duck session this past November. We were able to stop legislation by coordinating closely with our allies. Now legislators are trying to sneak this “Super Board consolidation” into legislation as part of the budget bill HB 49. It is critical that we act now to protect our professional licensure! It's not too late to Learn More about the proposed House Bill, Draft a Letter to Your Legislator Using Our Provided Template and Send It to Your Legislator Today!

WANTED: Digital Media
We are currently updating our digital content and we would love your help! We are seeking videos and pictures of yourself and colleagues in your daily work settings, performing services, providing volunteer services, at OSLHA and other professional conferences…you name it, we want to see how you spend your work day!   We would like to feature our OSLHA members in our digital and promotional marketing and encourage you to make a submission. If you have high quality photos or video, please complete a photo/video release form and email it with your media to Matt.hott.85@gmail.com. Please consider any employer policies and consult with your employer before making submissions that include patients, colleagues and your employment facility. If your pictures include your clients please have them sign a waiver, as well, or take care to crop them out of the media before submitting. We look forward to seeing your submissions and expect to highlight many in our future promotions!

Sao Paulo, Brazil Study Abroad Opportunity, May 25-June12, 2017:
A 2 week study abroad in Brazil is currently being planned by Kent State University Center for International and Intercultural Education
for May 25-June 12, 2017. The trip will be led by Dr. Lisa Audet and studies will be led by Dr. Fernanda Dreux at the University of Sao Paulo (USP). Dr. Dreux is the leading SLP in ASD in Brazil. Participants do not need to be current KSU students, they can be practitioners. You would register for the trip ($3000) and for the 3 credit course associated with the trip as a non-matriculating student. Learn More...

CMS Responds Favorably to Speech-Language Pathologists:
ASHA would like to thank to the 456 speech-language pathologists who contacted the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)! The Agency has since finalized their proposal regarding copay equity for speech, physical, and occupational therapy services. Effective for 2018, Affordable Care Act (ACA) health plans, which elect to offer Simple Choice plans, must make the copayment amount for speech, physical, and occupational therapy services equal to the copayment amount for primary care services in states with cost-sharing requirements. Learn More...

Classroom Acoustics Model Building Code Standard Adopted by Code Committee:
The A117.1 Committee of the International Code Council (ICC) voted to approve the updated model building code standard for classroom acoustics earlier this month. This model building code standard sets reverberation rates for classrooms of certain square footages and closely mirrors the ANSI/ASA S12.60-2010/Part 1 standard. ASHA has worked for many years to help develop the original American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard in the 2000s, later revising it in 2010, and sponsoring the code amendment to the A117.1 Code in 2015. This code is now ready for adoption by school districts, localities, and states.  Read More...

Survey for School SLP's to Provide Feedback on the Presence of Children with NAS on Their Caseloads:
Brittany Ratliff, speech-language pathology student at East Tennessee State University, invites you to participate in a brief, 15-minute survey about the presence of children who are known or suspected to have a history of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) on school-based SLP caseloads. The purposes of this study are: (1) to determine if SLPs in the school system have known and suspected children with NAS on their caseloads, and (2) to examine SLPs’ experiences about the presentation of communication and any comorbid disorders in this population. We feel that school-based SLPs are in a position to provide a unique perspective on this population. With RTI, children on SLPs’ caseloads tend to have more severe communication disorders and include many children with comorbid neurodevelopmental disorders. This questionnaire is intended for master’s and doctoral level, ASHA certified, school-based SLPs working in the United States. This research has been approved by the IRB of East Tennessee State University. You may contact the ETSU Institutional Review Board at 423.439.6054 for any questions you may have about your rights as a research subject. By completing this survey, you have acknowledged that you have read this information and have agreed to participate.

ED Releases ESSA Final Rules on Assessments:
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has released two notices of final regulations that implement provisions of title I (part A and part B) for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The regulations will ensure that states administer high-quality, annual assessments that provide meaningful data about student success, while also encouraging states and districts to continue to push the field of assessment forward through innovation. The notices were published in the December 8, 2016, Federal Register, and both become effective on January 9, 2017. The final regulations for state academic assessments under title 1, part A [PDF], which went through negotiated rulemaking with a diverse group of stakeholders earlier this year, will ensure that states continue to administer tests that are valid, reliable, and fair measures of achievement for all students.  The notice on the final regulations on innovative assessment demonstration authority under title 1, part B [PDF], establishes the parameters under which states may take advantage of a new innovative assessment demonstration authority to create, test and scale up alternatives to existing statewide assessment systems.

Defending Health Care in 2017: What Is at Stake for Ohio:
With a new president and Congress, the health care gains made throughout the last six years face uncertainty.  Congress has voted more than 60 times to roll back the historic progress that has been made to expand health coverage to millions of people in this country and to improve coverage for those who already had it. These proposed changes will put the health—and lives—of countless Ohioans at risk. Learn more about what Ohio stands to lose if the new president and Congress move forward to upend our current health care system: http://familiesusa.org/product/defending-health-care-2017-what-stake-ohio.

FDA Opens Doors for Unregulated Hearing Aids; Eliminates Medical Evaluation Requirement:
At a recent meeting on hearing health care in adults at the National Academies of Sciences (NAS), Eric Mann, MD, PhD, Clinical Deputy Director, Division of Ophthalmic and Ear, Nose, and Throat Devices of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), announced that the FDA is issuing a guidance document stating, effective immediately, that the FDA no longer intends to enforce the requirement that individuals over 18 years of age receive a medical evaluation or sign a waiver prior to purchasing most hearing aids. The FDA will continue to enforce the medical evaluation requirement for children. A press release from the FDA also announced a commitment to consider creating a new category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids and will consider recommendations from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine as well as the President's Council on Science and Technology (PCAST), who had previously issued reports supporting regulatory changes and a category of OTC hearing aids. OTC hearing aids would not require the consultation of a licensed dispenser. The FDA believes this could deliver lower cost hearing aids to consumers.   Read the full announcement...

The OSLHA Q2-Feb Newsletter Published For Members in New Email Format!
Check your inbox for our February newsletter containing important updates on newly proposed "Super Board" legislation and for exciting details about our upcoming OSLHA Convention and off-site Social Events!  Check your inbox for this new publication and if necessary, check your SPAM folder!  Be sure our email address is listed as a "safe sender" in your email client to avoid any delays in successful delivery to your inbox!

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) need to hear from you!
A recent proposal by CMS would significantly improve access to speech-language pathology services under health plans related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). CMS is proposing to align cost-sharing for speech therapy services with primary care services in those states with cost-sharing parity requirements. The new provision, outlined in the 2018 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (NBPP) Proposed Rule [PDF], would federally require cost-sharing for speech therapy to be equivalent to cost-sharing for primary care services—in 2018 and beyond—in states that have parity requirements under the standardized benefit option. Such requirements mandate speech-language pathology copayments to be no more than those for physicians or other primary care providers. Learn More and Take Action to Support This Proposal...

OSLHA eHearsay: Autism Issue Available for .25 ASHA CEU's
Until June 30, 2017
:
View the Table of Contents for this Autism issue.  Then Log in as an OSLHA Member to participate in our Free, Online Self Study and to see our other self study offerings, all of which will be available beginning January 1, 2017!

OSLHA eHearsay: Special Spring Issue Available for .25 ASHA CEU's
Until June 30, 2017
:
View the Table of Contents for this Special Spring issue.  Then Log in as an OSLHA Member to participate in our Free, Online Self Study and to see our other self study offerings, all of which will be available beginning January 1, 2017!

OSLHA eHearsay: Dyslexia Issue Available for .45 ASHA CEU's
Until June 30, 2017
:
View the Table of Contents for this Dyslexia issue.  Then Log in as an OSLHA Member to participate in our Free, Online Self Study and to see our other self study offerings, all of which will be available beginning January 1, 2017!

OSLHA eHearsay: Aphasia Issue Available for .9 ASHA CEU's
Until June 30, 2017
:
View the Table of Contents for this Aphasia issue.  Then Log in as an OSLHA Member to participate in our Free, Online Self Study and to see our other self study offerings, all of which will be available beginning January 1, 2017!

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Provider Enrollment and Group Registration System Research Taking Place Now:
T he Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are conducting one-on-one feedback sessions to evaluate their provider enrollment and group registration systems. they are current;y seeking out health care providers and/or credentialing and office staff, including those who work for 3rd party vendors from which to collect feedback. If you meet this criteria, please read more about how to participate...

Resources are Now Available from OCR for Compliance with the New Health Equity Law:
As a follow-up to an earlier ASHA Headlines message regarding the new health equity law that was released by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), ASHA wants to make members aware of the training materials and other resources that are now available on the OCR website. Effective July 18, 2016, health care providers who receive federal financial assistance—including Medicaid or Medicare payments (except Part B)—must comply with the new requirements under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Section 1557, the civil rights provision of the ACA, expands on existing policies that prohibit discrimination based on sex, age, national origin, disability, race, or color. Read On for a list of the available resources from OCR, A summary of the final rule implementing Section 1557 of the ACA, Training materials for health care providers and other covered entities to help train their employees on compliance with Section 1557, and more...

NAS Endorses Over-the-Counter Hearing Devices for Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss: The National Academy of Science (NAS) has issued its report, "Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability". The report lists 12 recommendations, many of which ASHA supports. The committee identified hearing loss as a medical condition and the fifth leading cause of years lived with a disability. The report also recommended that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) develop a new class of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing devices. Learn More about the contents within this report and ASHA's feedback online.

Improved Transparency of Rehabilitation and Habilitation Services for Consumers:
On April 6, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted the final 2017 Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) template and uniform Glossary of Health Coverage and Medical Terms (Uniform Glossary), which includes important changes specific to rehabilitation and habilitation services that health plans must follow. The SBC is for use by all health plans to allow consumers to have an even comparison among available health plans, and to help enrollees better understand and use their own coverage. The new SBC must be used for plan years with open enrollment periods beginning after April 1, 2017. ASHA effectively argued that health plans must include visit limits related to speech therapy for rehabilitation and habilitation services, and that visit limits must be listed separately for each. The greatest improvement in the final SBC is that the terms used in an electronic version can be fully hyperlinked to the Uniform Glossary. Learn More about these improvements and changes.

OSLHA's Mentorship Program is Accepting Applicants!
In response to interest from students and new professionals, we have successfully established a mentorship program for this current membership year and are still accepting applications for mentors and mentees. We highly encourage YOU to consider how you can participate as a mentor or mentee in our inaugural program.   Seasoned OSLHA members have an opportunity to share knowledge and professional experiences with eager and interested candidates and this type of individualized interaction could transform an average but motivated employee into an exceptional professional... imagine what a contribution they could make to the field and to our association!  We will be accepting these applications on a continual basis beginning immediately and we look forward to receiving your Mentorship Application or Mentor Application.

Ohio's Strategies in Action for People with Autism Spectrum Disorder:
The Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) recently created a new Autism Certification Center and launched a groundbreaking online video training program for individuals who interact with individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The new program, called ASD Strategies in Action, gives families and service providers tools to ensure they are equipped to effectively care for, support, educate, employ, or work with individuals on the autism spectrum from early childhood through young adulthood. ASD Strategies in Action provides practical information and skills, demonstrated with real-life examples, filmed in a variety of settings, available in a mobile-friendly format that is free to all Ohioans and available anywhere. The program was funded under the leadership of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Education and the Governor's Office of Health Transformation. Learn more...

ASHA Process for Relaying CE Participation to CE Broker
As an ASHA Approved CE Provider in Ohio, OSLHA is aware that the Ohio Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (OBSLPA) is now using CE Broker as its continuing education tracking system. ASHA CE transfers ASHA CEUs earned by Ohio licensees to CE Broker on a regular basis.. Learn More about how they do this and how the Ohio Licensure Board for SLP's and Aud's will use this information to benefit you!

OSLHA Membership Renewal FAQ's:
Membership Renewals take place beginning in May annually and will be effective with start dates of July 1st. Get answers to your processing and benefits questions Here!