Gov Affairs would like to thank all of our FOTA members who took the time to register and volunteer with us on Hill Day 1/24/23!

It was a very successful day spent meeting with various pertinent legislators who support OT as a benefit to the Florida Healthcare Plan, supported and sponsored our Scope Bill update last session, and provided valued feedback regarding Licensure compacts. In 2022, the Florida Legislature unanimously passed, and Governor DeSantis signed into law, SB 632, which modernized the scope of practice for occupational therapy in Florida. This was a critical step, in not only recognizing in state statute the full breadth of services occupational therapists can provide, but ensuring patients have access to vital occupational therapy services.

  • Entering the 2023 Legislative Session, FOTA remains committed to efforts to continue promoting the profession and support patient access to occupational therapy services.

OT licensure compact

In 2022, the American Occupational Therapy Association, joined by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, embarked on state legislation to create an occupational therapy licensure compact. To date, 20 states have passed legislation enacting the compact.

Florida has not yet joined the compact, however FOTA is interested in starting the conversation to pursue a compact in future Legislative Sessions.

  • An interstate licensing compact would allow OTs and OTAs to practice across state lines via a “compact privilege” which is equivalent to a license
A compact enhances the mobility of occupational therapy practitioners, which is particularly important for spouses of relocating military families
  • Patient access to occupational therapy and continuity of care is improved, as state lines no longer become a boundary for accessing qualified practitioners
  • States become more informed from the exchange of licensure, enhancing access to investigatory and disciplinary information between member states

Medicaid Reimbursement

Medicaid reimbursement levels for occupational therapists in Florida are amongst the lowest in the country, despite the fact that occupational therapists are a key factor in reducing health care costs, improving quality of life, and helping people return to work.

Occupational therapy has been shown to have a statistically significant relationship to lower 30-day readmission rates for primary health conditions such as heart failure and pneumonia, as well as reduce hospital length of stay for intensive care patients, resulting in cost savings for the health care system. 
  • Support increased reimbursement rates for Medicaid providers and specifically occupational therapists.

Access to Mental Health Services

  • Occupational therapists have specialized knowledge/skills in mental health and are educated to select and use evaluation and interventions to promote mental health, but also improve physical, sensory, interpersonal, and cognitivefunction. Florida passed legislation in 2022 to update the OT practice act and recognize OTs role in mentalhealth.
  • Occupational therapists are recognized at the federal level as mental health providers and while they cannot diagnose, they work with those to create treatment plans and provide  appropriate and valuable treatment. 
OTs provide mental health services in a diverse range of settings, including community-
based home health care, hospitals, schools, nursing facilities, and private practice.
  • Support efforts to expand access to mental health services throughout Florida, including utilizing occupational therapy as a resource for the treatment and prevention of mental health disorders.





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