The Nebraska Speech-Language-Hearing Association Board of Directors and Legislative Committee has been monitoring legislative bills and providing testimony on behalf of the membership. This year saw 820 legislative bills introduced by Senators. As they hold hearings for each bill, NSLHA has been providing input on proposed laws that directly impact SLPs and audiologists.
Here are a few bills of interest and the letters and testimony provided by NSLHA.
LB 123, the ABA Practice Act, creates an application process for behavior analysts to become licensed in the State of Nebraska.
NSLHA opposes LB 123 as written and has suggested committee amendments to clarify the diagnosis of disorders, psychological testing, psychotherapy, cognitive therapy, psychoanalysis, and counseling, or the diagnosis or treatment of hearing, speech, swallowing and communication disorders should be excluded from the ABA Practice Act.
LB 430 seeks to restrict multiple procedure payment reduction or MPPR by private health insurers. This policy, recently adopted by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska impacts access to physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology providers.
Jessica Theone, Legislative Committee Chair, testified last week before the Health and Human Services Committee in support of LB 430. A coalition of therapy organizations: NSLHA, physical and occupational therapists all shared the challenges of providing quality care with reduced reimbursements.
LB 593 would expand the scope of practice for Hearing Instrument Specialists, including cerumen management services.
A hearing date has not been scheduled.
Additionally, NSLHA is monitoring several other bills. A complete list with can be found HERE.
Please feel free to let us know if you have any questions.