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OTAT Students Attend Hill Day 2012

Posted Nov. 8, 2012

 

Twenty-three students and twenty-two members of our faculty, staff, and family from the Kent State University East Liverpool Occupational Therapy Assistant Program attended the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) 2012 Hill Day in Washington, DC.

With 514 registered attendees, 2012 was the largest-ever Hill Day in AOTA history. It trumped last year’s record number of 400-plus attendees.  

Hill Day is an opportunity for occupational therapy professionals to bring their advocacy and concerns straight to their elected officials and educate them on the issues critical to occupational therapy and the people we serve.

For many weeks preceding the conference students in the OTAT program call to schedule appointments with the individual Senators and Representatives.

“The students have to leave their comfort zone to call government offices and make appointments and be professional by researching the issues and how they affect the patients receiving services as well as the profession as a whole,” said Nina Sullivan, clinical fieldwork coordinator.

KSU Students had meetings in the offices of Ohio and West Virginia Representatives: Senator Portman (OH), Senator Brown (OH), Congressman Johnson (OH), Congressman Renacci (OH), Congressman Sutton (OH), Congressman Ryan (OH) and Senator Manchin (WV).

The group of occupational therapy clinicians, educators, and students advocated for Congressional support to pass the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act (S. 829/H.R. 1546), which seeks to repeal therapy caps implemented by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. The current act limits Medicare coverage of outpatient occupational therapy to $1,880 and places a separate combined limit on physical and speech therapy of $1,880. Students and health care professional also sought Congressional support of the Medicare Home Health Flexibility Act (H.R. 2468) to give occupational therapy equal footing among other services provided by home health agencies to allow Medicare beneficiaries to receive the most appropriate skilled service to meet their needs.

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Media Contact:
Bethany Zirillo, bgadd@kent.edu, 330-382-7430