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(DOH) issued a press release last week containing guidelines related to the Treatment of Gender Dysphoria for Children and Adolescents.

As you may know, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) issued a press release last week containing guidelines related to the Treatment of Gender Dysphoria for Children and Adolescents
 
As stated, the press release is guidance and does not create a requirement for health care practitioners.
 
According to our practice framework, and regardless of condition or diagnosis, occupational therapy practitioners support clients by offering evidence-based treatments which affirm the lived experience, encourage exploration of identity, provide a safe and supportive environment, maximize strengths and resources, reflect on consequences of treatment approaches, facilitate participation in preferred roles, and prevent loss of engagement in meaningful occupations. 
 
Clinicians with specific questions regarding the guidance should contact the DOH directly. 
 
Clinicians should also feel free to reach out to [email protected] with comments, concerns or to speak with practitioners familiar with these topics. 
 
FOTA will continue to share information as it becomes available.
 
Sincerely,
 
Your Government Affairs Team"

OT Scope of Practice Legislation Stalls in Senate

OT Scope of Practice Legislation Stalls in Senate [Government Affairs]

The 2020-2021 Legislative Session was the first of its kind for the State of Florida. In response to the global pandemic, the State Capitol closed its doors to the public around March 2020 and only reopened to the public in May of 2021. During this time legislators and relevant stakeholders met virtually for committee meetings, to provide testimonies, and execute the legislative process that, by Florida law, usually requires physical presence. Despite these challenges, the Florida Occupational Therapy Association (FOTA) was still able to continue service throughout to its constituents by advocating for an updated OT Scope of Practice (Scope).

The Occupational Therapy Practice Act had not been updated in over two decades. For the past two years, FOTA has been working with the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy, and our sister professions to thoughtfully modernize language that reflects current & future practices. Prior to the start of the 2021 legislative session, FOTA enlisted the sponsorship of Representative Traci Koster and Senator Jennifer Bradley. These Bill sponsors were chosen because of their known track record for service to Florida’s citizens and involvement in committees that administer bills of this nature. The Governmental Affairs committee for FOTA and legislative representatives, Johnston & Stewart, vetted language with House and Senate staff while reviewing the language with key personnel from the Department of Health and Board of Occupational Therapy. FOTA’s Scope Bill was filed early to allow ample time for movement through committees. The House Bill 543 passed its two committees of reference and the entire House chamber unanimously. The Senate Bill 990 passed 2 of its 3 committees unanimously. When it was time for the final Senate Appropriations Committee vote, the Bill was surprisingly left off the agenda. Communication with the Appropriations Chair and the President’s office revealed no concerns other than they simply ran out of room on the agenda. It was sometime later FOTA learned the primary limiting factor was technical language included within the Bill referencing the Gardiner Scholarship Program (GSP). Because the GSP was repealed and merged into a different program during the same session, certain language in the OT Scope was rendered obsolete which ultimately prevented inclusion into law this session.

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Occupational therapy leadership perspectives used to facilitate faculty retention

 

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The new normal: Supporting post-pandemic independence within the home and community health setting

The New normal: Supporting post-pandemic independence within the home and community health setting

Since March 2020 the world has continued to evolve and change to meet the restrictions and demands of what is known as COVID-19. Twenty-one months later we continue to track outbreaks and attempt to prevent the spread through handwashing, masking, and social distancing, as well as develop treatments that are scientific and alternative. Both healthcare workers, including occupational therapists, and clients are experiencing difficulties in the areas of occupations of work, self-care, and leisure due to COVID-19 and the associated restrictions (Sithong, 2021). However, with states lifting restrictions, clients and practitioners are hoping to return to their pre-pandemic lives despite the occupational imbalances and hardships they have undergone.

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Medicare OTA payment differential

The Medicare OTA payment differential went into effect on January 1, 2022 and many occupational therapy practitioners still have questions regarding what the policy means for OTAs. 
 
Additionally, AOTA has resources that are immediately available. Please feel free to share this recording of the Special OTA Confab: Legislative and Regulatory Changes with your membership. The recording provides both the legislative background of the policy and a detailed discussion of when the modifier should be applied. An article and video can also be found on the AOTA website on how to apply the modifier and an easy to read handout is linked here.

Contemplating the Capstone

Contemplating the Capstone

by Pamela Kasyan-Howe, OTD FOTA SIS Fieldwork

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Virtual Reality in Occupational Therapy

Virtual Reality in Occupational Therapy

By Jonathan E. Urrely, OT-S and Carlos Martoral

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ASSESSING STUDENTS’ CLINICAL REASONING ON FIELDWORK

ASSESSING STUDENTS’ CLINICAL REASONING ON FIELDWORK

By Maria A. Colmer, OTD, OTR/L, Associate Professor, Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Florida Gulf Coast University, OT Program, FLOTEC

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Motivation: An important factor in adherence to home programs for patients with chronic conditions

Motivation: An important factor in adherence to home programs for patients with chronic conditions

By Kristin Domville, DrOT, OTR/L and  Kaye Rubio, Ph.D., MHS, OTR/L, CLT-LANA,

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Joint effort with the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and the Department of Elder affairs in a home modification program.

Joint effort with the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and the Department of Elder affairs in a home modification program.

Eligible providers will have 60 days to complete the application for funding. Providers must apply by February 14, 2022.

FOTA's Government Affairs is proud to announce a joint effort with the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and the Department of Elder affairs in a home modification program designed to enable older adults in Florida to remain in their homes, rather than move to nursing homes or other assisted care facilities. The goal of this program is to enable low-income elderly persons to remain in their homes through low-cost, low barrier, high impact home modifications to reduce older adults’ risk of falling, improve general safety, increase accessibility, and to improve their functional abilities in their home. The program requires that an occupational therapist play the lead role for the home modification team. 
 
Details are limited at this time. We anticipate the cap for home mods will be around $5,000 for each client, and are still working on identifying an appropriate reimbursement rate for clinician. The initiative will occur throughout Florida, so where ever you are, you are needed. We are encouraging OTs to register with AHCA as Medicaid providers to shore up our resources in prep for this influx of around $127 million dollars earmarked for this initiative.
Please review the following alert to learn more. 

Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Announces Application Period for Home and Community-Based Services Provider Funding

~The initial application period focuses on supporting providers with workforce recruitment and retention~
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Today, the Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) announced the initial application period for three components of the Agency’s Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) enhanced funding plan. Eligible providers will have 60 days to complete the application for funding. Providers must apply by February 14, 2022.
“Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, taking care of Florida’s seniors and most vulnerable residents has been and continues to be a top priority,” said Agency Secretary Simone Marstiller. “The Agency is pleased to invest this enhanced funding in Florida’s home and community-based services providers to strengthen their ability to recruit and retain staff to care for the most vulnerable and enhance the ability of these Floridians to receive care in a community-based setting.”
The three components included in the initial application cycle include:
  • •One-time provider stipend payments to support HCBS providers;
  • One one-time payments to aid eligible HCBS providers in recruiting and retaining qualified staff; and
  • Funding to support the purchase of delayed egress systems for group homes and adult day training centers.
More information on the application process and a list of eligible provider types can be found HERE.
The application process for eligible providers is to ensure appropriate measures are put in place to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse. The Agency will announce additional application periods for remaining program components, which are expected to occur by April 2022.
Florida’s HCBS programs serve the state’s aging population, as well as individuals with physical, intellectual, and developmental disabilities. For more information about Florida’s strategy for administering the increased FMAP funding for HCBS providers and to apply or obtain updates on upcoming application cycles, please visit: https://ahca.myflorida.com/hcbsapplication.

What is an OT Compact and How Does it Apply to Me?


FOTA OT COMPAQ

FOTA OT COMPAQ2

FOTA21 Conference: Student Poster Submissions

FOTA21 Conference: Student Poster Submissions

Here are some tips to follow when completing your student poster submission:

  1. First and foremost, make sure you submit your poster under student and not professional. This will help to decrease any added stress closer to conference when you realize you may have been placed in the wrong group. The conference committee goes off what you submit and will place your poster in the group accordingly.

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Occupational Therapy Practitioners as Leaders

Occupational Therapy Practitioners as Leaders

An others-oriented perspective is at the core of most occupational therapy practitioners. Occupational therapy (OT) is a holistic profession built on the ideals of being client centered and helping others live a life they deserve and value, which I believe is the reason many of us fell in love with the profession. Occupational therapists bring a unique, client-focused, occupation based, and holistic perspective to the table. With this viewpoint, we are given a responsibility to employ it in leadership, as it is increasingly valuable to healthcare as a whole.

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Two new assessments of sensory integration and processing skills: The SOSI-M and the COP-R

By: Gustavo Reinoso, Ph.D., OTR/L Dominique Kiefer-Blanche, OTD, OTR/L Erna I. Blanche, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA 

As our understanding of sensory integration and the processing construct evolves, so should our measures and assessments. Occupational therapists working with children who present deficits in sensory integration and processing use an array of measures in clinical practice, such as standardized testing, proxy questionnaires, family interviews, biographical accounts, and self-report measures. The information provided by these measures assist practitioners in composing a clinical profile, formulate hypotheses, and develop a plan of care relevant to these children’s lives and their families. The results from these measures are often combined with the use of clinical observations. The primary purpose of clinical observations is to allow the therapist to use clinical judgment to analyze a child’s performance in relationship to sensory processing as informed by evolving theory and research (Blanche & Reinoso, 2008).

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INTEGRATING HEALTH LITERACY IN EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

INTEGRATING HEALTH LITERACY IN EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING


Shirish Lala, EdD(c), MHS, OTR/L Academic Fieldwork Coordinator Daytona State College

The pursuit of acquiring literacy is intentional, purposeful, and deictic, and subject to change based on the contextual demands (Leu, Kinzer, Coiro, Castek, & Henry, 2013). Literacy can be loosely defined as a construct that provides an individual with the ability to read, write, and integrate information across a broad range of platforms in order to identify, recognize, and implement knowledge for the purpose of personal,social, or financial gain. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services describes health literacy (HL) as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions” (National Network of Libraries of Medicine [NNLM], 2011). However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, low HL is a serious public health issue affecting nine out of every ten adults (Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 2018a). At least 50% of the adults without high school education are at risk for experiencing severe health crises including medication errors, increased hospital visits, higher mortality, and greater health expenditure as compared to those with adequate HL levels (Brach et al., 2012).


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FOTA HILL DAY 21' UPDATE

The Florida Occupational Therapy Association (FOTA) is proud to continue its service to members and consumers of OT during the 2021 Florida Legislative Session.  Thus far we have spoken to at least eight different legislators directly involved in the examination and vetting of our proposed updates to the Occupational Therapy Scope of Practice (Scope). Your FOTA representatives have also met with other relevant stakeholders such as The Florida Board of OT and the Florida Department of Health to solicit feedback and support of these essential updates to our Scope.

Now it’s your turn!

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FOCUS Quarterly Deadline Approaching

FOCUS quarterly
FOCUS QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER DEADLINE IS MARCH 15

FOTA Boosts Quarterly Publication 

In a persistent move towards meeting the needs of its membership and readers, FOCUS, the official publication of the Florida Occupational Therapy Association (FOTA) has been renamed The FOCUS Quarterly.  The Author’s Guidelines have been adapted to include formal review of submitted materials, and inclusion of a variety of opportunities for the novice and seasoned writers in the community of occupational therapy and collaborating partners.  

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Human Trafficking CE Requirement

Hello,

Just a reminder that there is now a requirement for a Human Trafficking CE

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Advocacy Request for Florida OTs

Florida OT's,
On August 3, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed FY 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Rule and Fact Sheet. Despite previous collaborative advocacy efforts, the proposed rule contains a 9% cut to reimbursement for therapy services to offset the increases to the value of office visit evaluation and management (E&M) codes that primarily benefit primary care physicians. We believe therapy practitioners cannot withstand the cuts required to keep the budget increases neutral. Changes must be made to protect therapy services. 
As this is a Federal initiative, we are asking that you reach out to CMS and your congressional members directly to express your concerns. We have provided a template to help guide your discussion, attached here. Including your own personal and client stories in the letter will have the greatest impact on those voting for or against these measures. Also included here is a link to your Florida Congressional Members and a link to AOTA's stance on the matter. 
Your dedication to health and advocacy is why the profession continues to enjoy industry leading growth and increasing recognition in medicine. 
Thank you,
FOTA Governmental Affairs

questions? contact [email protected]

CHILDREN AND COVID-19

CHILDREN AND COVID-19

by: Kimberly McKinney MOT, MPT, tDPT, PHC
FOTA SIS Early Intervention/School Systems Chair H2 Health at Georgia-Pacific Palatka

The news about the coronavirus is everywhere, but what effect is it having on kids? According to a new study from China’s Shenzhen province (led by scientists from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Shenzhen Center for Disease Control and Prevention) believes that although children do contract COVID-19 they do not get sick as quickly as adults. This is believed to be due to children having healthier lungs (from not smoking or fewer years of exposure to pollution) (Pappas, 2020).

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