SB1030 has passed the Senate floor and will be moving to the House of Representatives. The roll call was 26 (in favor) - 3 (not in favor) - 1 (not voting). Please click the link below to find the breakdown of senators who supported/did not support the bill.
UPDATE January 31st, 2017
SB1030 has passed the Senates Appropriations Committee. The roll call was 8 (in favor) - 1 (not in favor) - 1 (not voting). Please click the link below to find the breakdown of senators who supported/did not support the bill.
Please click the links below to find the information on Senate Bill 1030Senate Bill 1030
The Arizona Occupational Therapy Association with the support of Senator Nancy Barto introduced senate bill 1030.
How can you help?
Please watch your emails and the ArizOTA website for updates and any call to action.
Telehealth is an emerging area of practice for OTs. Arizona's telehealth coverage law includes "Health Care Services" for the following conditions: trauma, burn, cardiology, infectious diseases, mental health disorders, neurological diseases including stroke, dermatology, and pulmonology. However this coverage only allowed for telehealth services in rural areas previously. In Arizona a bill was recently signed by Governor Doug Ducey in May of 2016 to pay for telemedicine services across the whole state and not just in rural areas increasing the amount of people who can received telehealth services. Although this is a step in the right direction there is still room for improvement. Please read the full article here:
Attention all OT's and OTA's!
Our legislative committee has been hard at work advocating for our profession. Our main focus for this fiscal year has been to get occupational therapy services covered for outpatient adult AHCCCS patients. We are currently in the process of getting this bill, SB1305, passed through various committee's. The bill has already passed through the Human Services Committee as well as the Appropriations Committee. We are now awaiting for it to be passed in the Rules Committee before it goes to the senate and house for a vote.
As you already know the passing of this bill would be a historic triumph for OT's and OTA's all around the state to start working with the adult AHCCCS population who would benefit from our services greatly.
It is important for all OT's and OTA's to read and familiarize themselves with the proposed legislation. We have provided the appropriate documents below including the bill SB1305, fact sheet, and an update from our lobbyist Scot Butler. In the near future we may be requesting a call for action to assist with the passing of our bill. To keep up to date with the bill you can follow the AZ government link provided below.
It is also important to know who your state legislators are in case you may need to contact them regarding this bill. One way to obtain this information please enter your information using the following website: http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/
At the beginning of December, Donna Gilbert and I met with the current AHCCCS government relations representative, Jennifer Carusetta. We reviewed the ArizOTA bill from 2007, under which OT and speech therapy would no longer be prohibited from receiving reimbursement for outpatient adult therapy. They were familiar with the concept and agreed to run some numerical models to see what the likely transition costs would be.
While waiting for the AHCCCS results, we contacted some legislators to work on possible sponsorship of a bill in the 2015 session. Senator Nancy Barto agreed to have a bill folder opened, but wanted to see the AHCCCS numbers before proceeding on with a bill. Regrettably, AHCCCS did not provide any numbers until Jan. 27, and the range provided was a cost of between $10.4 and $24.9 million. Needless to say, these numbers were not something that we wanted to use in connection with a bill, so we took two steps: (1) We noted for AHCCCS that in 2007 their analysis was that the cost was about $300,000, so we asked for an additional meeting; and (2) We notified Senator Barto and her staff that we would hold off seeking a bill until we could clarify some issues with AHCCCS.
The Senate bill deadline has now passed, so we will look at either an amendment or an item in the budget bills to promote the OT change. First, however, we must clarify what the costs actually are, since it is not helpful to have inaccurate numbers. A second meeting was held with AHCCCS on February 5. A complicating factor is the proposal from Governor Ducey to save money by reducing the reimbursements to AHCCCS providers by 3%. This proposal seems virtually certain to pass the Legislature, so ArizOTA will need to assess the impact of that change and whether it affects the goal of amending the adult outpatient statute.
We will advise the Board as soon as we have something from AHCCCS to report.
Scot Butler III
ArizOTA State Lobbyist
* Denotes Incumbent
District 1 House: Fann (R)*, Campbell (R)
District 1 Senate: Pierce (R)*
District 2 House: Clinco (D)*, Gabaldon (D)*, Ackerley (R)
District 2 Senate: D’Alessandro (D)*, Estrella (R)
District 3 House: Gonzales (D)*, Saldate (D)*
District 3 Senate: Cajero Bedford (D)*
District 4 House: Otondo (D), Fernandez (D), Hopkins (R)
District 4 Senate: Pancrazi (D)*, Uribe (R)
This is a brief legislative update for ARIZOTA members following the adjournment of the 2013 Legislative Session. A final report will be available at the Annual Conference.
The 2013 Legislature was nearly two months late for normal adjournment when, on June 11, Governor Brewer called a Special Session to address the budget and her proposed Medicaid expansion. In the Special Session, which adjourned on June 13, a coalition of all the Democrats and some Republicans passed a budget along the lines proposed by Governor Brewer, and also enacted her requested acceptance of the offer under the federal Affordable Health Care Act for states to increase their Medicaid eligibility to 130% of the federal poverty level and received matching funds of up to 90%. The budget adopted by the Legislature restored some funding for both K-12 and higher education, another positive step. And the budget provided a 3% increase in the reimbursement rate for developmental disability providers, which did not make up for the 15% in previous rate reductions but was still better than nothing. The Legislature then adjourned the regular session one day later, on June 14.
ARIZOTA, along with nearly all other health care providers and many business organizations, supported Governor Brewer and the Medicaid expansion. This expansion will bring thousands of Arizonans back under health coverage and provide significant additional funding and services for both patients and providers.
ARIZOTA also supported the Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners bill to clean up the confusion and problems involving supervision. This bill, Senate Bill 1105, sponsored by Senator Nancy Barto, Senate Health Chair, passed and was signed by the Governor as Chapter 109. The bill will become effective 90 days after the Legislature adjourned, which is September 13, 2013.
Please plan on attending the ARIZOTA Annual Conference, where the final budget and all bills of interest will be covered.