AOTA Hill Day 2014
Twenty-one second-year students from the Kent State University East Liverpool Occupational Therapy Assistant Program recently attended the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) 2014 Hill Day in Washington, D.C.
Hill Day provides occupational therapy professionals the opportunity to take their advocacy and concerns straight to their elected officials and educate them on the issues critical to the occupational therapy profession.
For weeks preceding the conference, students in the Kent East Liverpool OTAT program called to schedule appointments with individual senators and representatives from Ohio. Once in Washington, D.C., KSU students met in the offices of Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman; Ohio Representatives Bill Johnson, Tim Ryan, David Joyce, James Renacci and Bob Gibbs; as well as with West Virginia Senators Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller; and Rep. David McKinley.
The group of occupational therapy clinicians, educators and students advocated for congressional support to repeal the Medicare Part B outpatient therapy caps, which place arbitrary limits on access to medically-necessary rehabilitation services for all Medicare patients seeking outpatient services. Students and clinicians believe that it is critical for Congress to continue focusing on the cap issue to ensure Medicare beneficiaries receive the proper care they deserve.
Students and healthcare professionals also sought congressional support allowing occupational therapy to become primary providers for mental health care under the new mental health bill, since the profession was originally founded in mental health.
Photo Caption: Occupational therapy students spend a few moments admiring the Washington Monument
Bethany Zirillo, 330-382-7430, firstname.lastname@example.org