On Friday, November 7, 2014, MAOT held its annual Conference.
At this event, Lisa Simonetti, the MAOT Lobbyist, and Karen Hefler, MAOT Government Relations Representative, reported on the current legislative happenings related to Occupational Therapy practice.
Legislative Activity through November 2014
For more information on legislative matters, go to http://www.malegislature.gov
Division of Insurance Information Sessions
The Division of Insurance is hosting a series of listening sessions on various topics, some of which may be of interest to you. Please see the attached document for a list of listening sessions. All sessions will be held at the Division of Insurance Offices, 1000 Washington Street, Boston MA, 02118. There is a call-in number for those who cannot make it in person: please call (877) 202-9892 and use the following password (617) 246-7383.
Monday, November 10, 2014 – 10:00-12:00; Room 1-E Disclosure of Facility Fees to Consumers
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 – 10:00-12:00; Room 1-E Access to Autism Treatment
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 – 1:00- 3:00; Room 1-E Access to Eating Disorder Treatment
Friday, November 14, 2013 – 10:00-12:00; Room 1-E Certification of Health Plan’s Compliance with Federal MHPAEA Requirements
Monday, November 17, 2014 – 10:00-12:00; Room 1-E Access to Children’s Behavioral Health Services
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 – 10:00-12:00; Room 1-E ACA Section 2706: Nondiscrimination of Providers
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 – 1:00- 3:00; Room 1-E Certification of Health Plan’s Compliance with Federal MHPAEA Requirements
Friday, November 21, 2013 – 10:00-12:00; Room 1-E Treatment for Opioid Addiction
MAOT will be attending the meeting on November 12th regarding Access to Autism Treatment and provide written documentation to DOI about OTA and Autism and hopefully testify for OTA to be a covered provider to provide increased access to OT services for consumers. If an OTA would like to come and testify, that would be more powerful.
If anyone would like to call in to or attend a meeting, let Karen Hefler know so we can communicate to members.
Updated occupational therapy licensure regulations have been approved by Massachusetts Board of Registration in Allied Health Professionals as of May 28, 2014. We are still awaiting final drafts and public hearing. No specifics were discussed at the May meeting. However, continuing education is not addressed at this time. The regulations primarily updated definitions, standards of practice, supervision, and documentation.
Continuing education is an issue for all boards in the Division of Professional Licensure (DPL). Reportedly, this will be addressed later under General Provisions. But this process has not been defined.
As a profession, we will need to look at the document carefully when it is posted. Language for students is not specifically defined in the new OT regulations, however it is reportedly addressed in the AT and PT regulations. So we will need to take time as a group to dissect this carefully. Updated AT and PT regulations were also approved.
Next steps-The document will go to governor's office for approval. Once approved, there will be a public comment period. The document will become a public document and it will be posted on Allied Health web site. We can address issues then.
For more information on the Board of Allied Health Professionals, go to http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/licensee/dpl-boards/ah/
Allied Health Board Vacancies:
There are two open positions for Occupational Therapists on the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Allied Health Professionals. Members of the boards of registration are appointed by the Governor and serve on a voluntary basis. Board members serve for a term of three years. The current Occupational Therapists on this Board cannot be re-appointed due to the statute of limitations.
If you are interested in serving, please here is the link to apply! or contact Karen Hefler for more information
Mental health parity has passed and is supposed to be in place. The Department of Insurance (DOI) is supposed to be asserting that appropriations are appropriate and insurers are complying by October 1rst, 2013. However this has not happened.
Health Law Advocates are lawyers specializing in mental health law who help consumers get access to mental health and substance abuse services. They do letter writing to the DOI, stay on top of the DOI, and fight for the consumer. MAOT is now part of that email list and communication. Letters have been submitted by this group to the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) and Health Policy Commission regarding the Beacon/ValueOptions merger regarding impact on behavioral health services.
For more information on any legislative activities, please feel free to contact
Karen Hefler, OTR/L, MAOT Government Relations Representative, firstname.lastname@example.org