Therapy Cap Repealed After 20 Years
Dear AOTA Member,
This morning the President signed into law a permanent repeal of the cap on Medicare outpatient therapy services. After 20 years of looming threat, the therapy cap will never again put beneficiaries at risk for being denied essential occupational therapy services.
Many of you have seen firsthand the devastating effects that a cap on occupational therapy services can have on the clients we serve. Like some of you, I lost my job when the cap first took effect in 1999. Today, because of you, this policy is no more! Over the years, you have written hundreds of thousands of letters to tell Congress to stop the cap. You have placed thousands of phone calls to tell Congress why occupational therapy is essential for our clients.
Because of your membership, AOTA was able to lobby and gather critical data that pushed the therapy cap over the finish line. Last year AOTA commissioned a study that demonstrated the positive impact of the current medical review process on patient access and overall costs. This information was instrumental in developing a bipartisan compromise for a permanent repeal. Your membership allowed AOTA policy staff to work with Congress to draft the repeal legislation and ensure Medicare beneficiaries can have access to occupational therapy when they need it.
Our profession has faced many challenges over the years, and there will be more ahead. Some new challenges were introduced in this same bill. For today, we must celebrate the end of a senseless policy that threatened the health and well-being of Medicare beneficiaries and our profession for 20 years.
Thank you for your membership, and thank you for your advocacy.
Amy Lamb, OTD, OT/L, FAOTA
ACOTE® Statement on the Status of the
December 6, 2017
At the November 30–December 3, 2017, meeting of the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®), the members reviewed the October 16, 2017, decision to hold the OTA mandate decision in abeyance.
Identifying and recognizing the need for additional comment, the Council approved the following additional opportunities for stakeholder feedback:
- Host an Open Public Hearing to gather further input, particularly from practitioners, at the AOTA Annual Conference & Expo in Salt Lake City in April 2018;
- Distribute a web-based survey from March–June 2018 to gain further feedback from all stakeholder groups; and
- Promote the opportunity for feedback to be submitted via the email@example.com e-mail box.
ACOTE® will review the additional data collected at its August 2018 meeting, and determine the status of the OTA mandate decision currently being held in abeyance.
ACOTE® Statement on Requests for an Abeyance of the Mandate that the Entry-Level Degree Requirement for the Occupational Therapist Move to the Doctoral Level
December 6, 2017
At its November 30–December 3, 2017, meeting, the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) received letters of request for an abeyance of the ACOTE mandate that the entry-level degree requirement for the occupational therapist will move to the doctoral level by July 1, 2027.
ACOTE members reviewed the process and timeline that led to the decision to mandate the entry-level doctoral degree. The members noted that the question of the entry-level degree requirements has been debated in the profession for well over 10 years and has been reviewed and discussed in every ACOTE meeting since publication of the recommendation in the AOTA Future of Education Ad Hoc Committee report in 2013. At each meeting, ACOTE members have reviewed reports, surveys, letters, petitions, publications, and proceedings from open hearings reflecting the issue from multiple stakeholder groups. In addition, ACOTE noted that at this time 83 program locations are applicant, candidate, or accredited doctoral-level programs, representing 30% of the occupational therapy entry-level programs.
Given the deliberate process undertaken to ensure input from stakeholder groups in determining the mandate that the entry-level degree requirement for the occupational therapist will move to the doctoral level by July 1, 2027, ACOTE members have decided to uphold the mandate as published.
December 6, 2017
At the November 30–December 3, 2017, meeting, the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) reviewed the Educational Standards Review Committee recommendations for changes to Draft II of the Revised Entry-Level Accreditation Standards based on the call for comment and open hearing feedback. It was determined by the Council that the changes adopted would require the distribution of a third draft. The revised timeline is as follows:
- January 3, 2018: Distribute Draft III of the Revised Entry-Level Accreditation Standards
- January 3, 2018: Distribute survey for feedback on Draft III
- April 17, 2018: Hearing at Academic Leadership Council meeting
- April 19, 2018: Open Hearing at the AOTA Annual Conference and Expo, Salt Lake City, UT
- June, 2018: Educational Standards Review Committee to revise Standards (if needed) based on feedback and submit to ACOTE
- August 5, 2018: ACOTE meets and adopts Standards
- August 17, 2018: Adopted 2018 Standards distributed
- July 1, 2020: New Standards in effect
In response to requests for background information on ACOTE’s decision on the entry-level-degree requirement, we are sharing this workbook (see link below). The workbook includes a timeline of events and discussions undertaken by the Council leading to publication of the 2017 mandate statement. It also includes reports, surveys, open hearings, and publications reviewed by the members of the Council in coming to their decision. These materials support both the pros and cons of the entry-level doctorate mandate. The Council took all of these materials into account when making their decision.
ACOTE Statement Regarding the OTA Education Level Mandate
At the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education's (ACOTE®'s) August 2017 meeting, two motions were made regarding the entry-level degree requirement for the occupational therapist and the occupational therapy assistant. The first motion resulted in a vote to mandate that the entry-level degree requirement for the occupational therapist move to the doctoral level by July 1, 2027. The second motion resulted in a vote to mandate the entry-level degree requirement for the occupational therapy assistant move to the baccalaureate level by July 1, 2027.
SAVE THE DATE MAOT ANNUAL CONFERENCE ON OCTOBER 26, 2018 AT THE FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON NORWORD
Call for Papers
Fall Conference 2018/Spring Conference 2019 Conferences
Do you have something to share with other Occupational Therapy professionals; work in an expanding Occupational Therapy field; or have a new twist on a traditional Occupational Therapy skill?
MAOT Conference Committee is currently accepting papers for Presentations and Posters to its annual Fall Conference scheduled for October 26, 2018 at the Four Point Sheraton Norwood and for its Annual Spring Conference to be scheduled in March/April 2019 at Worcester State University.
Special Feature: Our Professionals at Work
In recognition of Fall Prevention Awareness Day on September 22, READ what Jennifer Kaldenberg, MSA, OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTA the OT representative for the Massachusetts Commission on Falls Prevention says about OT's role in this area.
Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants in the state of Massachusetts work in a variety of settings serving a population as equally diverse as the environment and context itself. In recognition of the talent and energy of these dedicated professionals, MAOT is pleased to introduce a new topic to our website titled “Special Feature: Our Profession at Work". Each month and when possible in conjunction with national awareness months/days, MAOT will highlight the work of an OT practitioner or group of practitioners in an interview format with accompanying visual images if available. Should you or someone you know be interested in showcasing your skills, please contact MAOT's Public Relations Representative, Ellie Meyer at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may want to resize images so they are inline with text.
Please join us in congratulating the following Massachusetts occupational therapy professionals who received awards at the 2017 AOTA Conference:
OTA Award of Excellence-Melissa Tilton, BS, COTA, ROH
AOTA Roster of Fellows-Tina Champagne, OTD, OTR
AOTA Roster of Fellows-Maureen Nardella, MS, OTR
Special thanks to our sponsors. Our programs wouldn't be possible without them.