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December 2023: Next on the horizon for OT legislation:
  • Dry needling (click for copy of petition filed by Florida Board of OT)
  • OT compact
  • Continue to lobby for higher reimbursement rates
  • Continue to keep OT as a benefit in the State of Florida Healthcare plan
  • Continue to be present and active in all legislation that could affect OT in the state of Florida 
  • Continue to lobby for OT practice and protect scope encroachment from other providers

    2024 Legislative Session – FOTA Hill Day

    • Conducted 14 meetings in Tallahassee with bi-partisan legislators from across on October 17, 2023
    • All meetings were with members of the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee or the Senate Appropriations Committee Health & Human Services, including the chairs of each
    • More than 40 FOTA members attended, representing practicing OTs, OTAs and students

    Hill Day Outcome and Next Steps

    • FOTA’s message on Hill Day focused on the need for increased Medicaid reimbursement
    • We received positive feedback from legislators, who were shocked at the current reimbursement rate and committed to help
    • FOTA will continue to work with our lobbyists as interim committee meetings take place and the 2024 Legislative Session begins to advocate for an increase through the state budget
    • Session will take place from January 9, 2024 – March 8, 2024


hill dayHill Day: October 17, 2023

Advocacy Focus: Medicaid 

FOTA's Annual Hill Day is open to everyone - members and non-members, students and practitioners - interested in meeting our team at the state capital in Tallahassee and raising their voice in support of their profession. Occupational therapy advocates can register to attend FOTA's Hill Day. Registration is required to attend Hill Day, and a great way for us to keep in touch with you about event details. Registration is not limited to FOTA members, however, your FOTA membership ensures advocacy opportunities and activities are available in support of occupational therapy. 
If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected]


Hill DAY: January 22, 2023

Our team met on the Hill to discuss Occupational Therapy with our legislatures. Here is a recap about the day. 

Thank you all who participated and advocated for our profession in our states capitol.

Contact the Government Affairs Team: [email protected]

Click here for our Hill Day Talking Points

OT Scope of Practice Update


Florida OTs now have an updated Scope of Practice for the first time in over 20 years to better define ALL we do!! For the purpose of improving patient access to OTs and support our state OT private practitioners (and all OTs/COTAs)!

  • Mental health interventions
  • Health management and Wellness
  • Updated definitions of OT that model our  framework
  • Laws regarding higher education and our doctorate/capstone
  • ADLs!! (Helloooooo?!)
  • And so much more!!

Thank you so much to the support of our FOTA members, Johnston and Stewart lobbying firm Anita Berry, and all of the OT leaders and students that helped along the way! This was a 6 year project now complete! Much more to do moving forward, but this change lays down the foundation to support our upcoming efforts.  

See our Bill

DOH Guidelines: April 29, 2022

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. Read more




  Senate Health Policy Committee :

Manny Diaz:  [email protected]
Jason Brodeur:  [email protected]
Ben Albritton:  [email protected]
Dennis Baxley [email protected]
AaronBean  [email protected]
Lauren Book  [email protected]
Janet Cruz  [email protected]
Gary Farmer, Jr.  [email protected]
IleanaGarcia  [email protected]
Shevrin ''Shev''Jones   [email protected]

 Legislative Reports & Hill Day Recaps: 


Government Affairs News:

A big thank you and shout out to Jian Jones Stewart, an OT professor and Fieldwork Coordinator at FAMU for testifying for the senate Committee meeting today at The Capitol. Here is what she said...

“My name is Jian Jones and I help transform lives as an Occupational Therapist. Occupational therapy helps individuals participate in meaningful activities independently. We evaluate and treat people from birth to the aging population in their ability to engage in everyday tasks such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and feeding. More complex skills in which we facilitate improvements include returning to work, engagement within the community, the ability to parent and addressing psychosocial needs for mental health. Occupational therapist view each individual as a WHOLE person using a holistic approach. As occupational therapist, we are asking the legislature to consider programs that encourage non-use of opioids such as occupational therapy. Why? Because OT’s change lives. We change lives by examining habits, behaviors and thoughts that revolve around drugs which leads to dependency. We change lives by working with the individual to create and implement a daily routine that provides meaning and joy WITHOUT the use of drugs. Any program or protocol addressing drug dependency must include evaluating and treating the WHOLE person AND the void a person leaves behind when the substance abuse is discontinued. OT’s change lives because we specialize in /nding voids and replacing said void with meaning, purpose and fulllment so that the WHOLE person can reengage into society in a productive way. Strategies for change include addressing ergonomics in the workplace that lead to pain, teaching energy conservation techniques, fatigue management, pain distraction techniques, establishing better sleep patterns , and using psychotherapeutic approaches for pain management. And because OT’s change lives using these strategies, we encourage the legislature to consider programs like occupational therapy that incorporate non-pharmacological treatment for opioid abuse. Thank y

 Occupational Therapist Tammy McKenzie Testifies on behalf of FOTA at the House Appropriations Committee met on January 22, 2018 to discuss HB 21 --Controlled Substances.

Tammy McKenzie, Florida Occupation Therapy Association, spoke to provide information. As an occupational therapist, it is their job to teach skills needed throughout life. When looking with their clients on how to do that, they have to provide meaning in life. When treating those that have/had an addiction, they can lose their way. They examine how these addictions can cause loss of identity and drive for independence success. These losses create increased dependency, which is a burden to our society, secondary to the burden of dependency to drug and alcohol. They encourage the legislature to include non-pharmaceutical treatments, such things as occupational therapy.

HB 21, Controlled Substances, by Representative Boyd

Bill Summary
“HB 21 limits the prescription for a Schedule II opioid to alleviate acute pain to a three-day supply, or a seven-day supply if deemed medically necessary by the prescriber. The bill requires Department of Health (DOH) to adopt rules establishing guidelines for prescribing controlled substances for acute pain, similar to those for chronic pain. The bill also requires a health care practitioner authorized to prescribe controlled substances to complete a board-approved 2-hour continuing education course on safely and effectively prescribing controlled substances, and to review a patient's PDMP history prior to prescribing or dispensing a controlled substance.”

Hill Day 2018 Slideshow



    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.  Read more....

About FOTA Government Affairs

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 [email protected]

altSharon Rosenberg OTR/L, CHT Government Affairs Co-Coordinator: 

Sharon graduated in 2011 with her Master’s of Occupational Therapy and has worked in sub-acute rehab and outpatient hand therapy settings. She has been involved in Governmental Affairs with FOTA since 2014 and facilitated the hire of our current lobbying team who successfully past legislation to add OT as a benefit to the Florida Healthcare Plan. Sharon enjoys traveling with her husband and two young boys and advocating for OT in her role as Government Affairs co-coordinator.


Carlos Martoral Carlos C. Martoral OTD, JD Government Affairs Co-Coordinator



FOTA Lobbying Firm

At Johnston & Stewart Government Strategies, we have mastered the arena of Florida politics.
Every single move we make is strategic and backed by decades of experience.


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


Click Here: To Find about your State Representatives

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To Find out about your State Senator


Advocacy Links you should know and use


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