Government Affairs

Government Affairs News

 

June 10, 2017 

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY BENEFIT OF STATE EMPLOYEES GROUP HEALTH PLAN: A Legislative Achievement for Florida Occupational Therapists

TALLAHASSEE – After more than 20 years of advocacy, State of Florida employees now can access occupational therapy services through the state group health insurance plan. The Florida Occupational Therapy Association (FOTA) led the efforts to include the added benefit for state employees in the 2017 General Appropriations Act passed by the Florida Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott.

 

The addition of occupational therapy as a covered benefit for state employees is considered a huge success by FOTA.  State employees will be able to access occupational therapy services at the same level as they currently have for physical therapy. State employees have historically been unable to access occupational therapy services, as it was not a covered benefit unless the patient was diagnosed with a developmental disability.

 

FOTA is thrilled to share this achievement and thanks Senator Denise Grimsley and Representative MaryLynn Magar, who each led the initiative in their respective chambers.

 

Occupational therapy services are shown to provide significant cost savings and health improvements by reducing hospital readmission rates, hospital length of stay and providing enhanced value to integrated care delivery teams. There are almost 16,000 occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants throughout Florida.

 

FOTA is celebrating 40 years of leading and advocating for occupational therapy in Florida.

This achievement was realized with the coordinated efforts of Corcoran & Johnston, FOTA's lobbyist firm. Our advocacy can only continue with member support. www.flota.org to join or renew. Be part of your state professional organization. Help sustain the career you love.

We are closely watching for ways OT will both be impacted and for opportunities for OT to be included, perhaps in ways we have not been included in the past. While the ACA is a Federal program, FOTA is working closely with AOTA to follow the trends and keep you informed.

Government Affairs Co-Coordinators: to contact please email Govaffairs@Flota.org

altSharon Rosenberg OTR/L Government Affairs Co-Coordinator: Sharon Rosenberg earned her undergraduate degree in Health Science and Rehabilitation Services at the University of Florida in 2006 and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at Florida A&M University in 2011. Sharon has worked in the outpatient setting as a rehab techsince 2001 and has aspired to be a hand therapist since 2006 while working with Dori Catalano OT/CHT at Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic. 



altKelly Uanino, OTR/L, CLT, Government Affairs Co-Coordinator: Kelly Uanino is a registered and licensed occupational therapist who earned a bachelors of arts degree from Rutgers University in 2005 in sociology and a Masters of occupational therapy degree from the University of St. Augustine in 2011. Prior to becoming an occupational therapist Kelly spent several years working as a social worker, special education teacher, and was project manager for an NIMH study on group home care in the state of North Carolina. Since becoming an occupational therapist Kelly has specialized in oncology rehabilitation with certification in lymphedema therapy.  

Kelly and Sharon live and work in Tallahassee, FL. They’ve have been working in conjunction with the former Government Affairs Coordinator, Barbara Ingram-Rice,  to change access to occupational therapy services for State of Florida employees and their families. Kelly and Sharon are excited to continue this effort and all efforts to protect our profession, grow coverage of our services, and to educate our policy makers on the unique role of occupational therapy services across the lifespan. 

FOTA Lobbying Firm

Corcoran & JohnstonFOTA welcomes Corcoran & Johnston as our lobbying firm. They have been recognized as one of Florida’s top lobbyists by Florida Trend Magazine (March 2013) and ranked in the top Florida Lobbyists by Sunshine State News in October 2013 and June 2014. With offices in Miami and Tampa, and several lobbyists in the firm, we look forward to lots of attention to FOTA advocacy and a very productive relationship. 

 

What the FOTA Board Watches ALL the Time:

  •  BC/BS reimbursement for OT for state workers
  • Medicaid reimbursement
  • Opportunities to add OT as a recognized Mental Health Provider
  • Opportunities for inculsion ie: OT was there at the rules making table to get language re: OTA supervision in the Home Health Agency Rules
  • Monitor threats to our scope of practice by other professions

alt

Click Here: To Find about your State Representatives

alt


Click Here: 
To Find out about your State Senator

 

Advocacy Links you should know and use

 


Amazon searches starting from www.flota.org benefit FOTA!