URGENT MESSAGE ABOUT MEDICARE FUNDING FOR SPEECH-GENERATING DEVICES IN THE UNITED STATES

For speech-language pathologists. 2/24/2014
Medicare Implementation Team: An Ad hoc group of AAC stakeholders

FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION SLPs can protect Medicare recipients and their families from the potentially adverse effects of this new ruling, but they must act quickly. This opportunity is very time-limited. All devices delivered after April 1, 2014 will be subject to the new rental policy. The specific NOW tasks are to:

1. complete Medicare evaluations and reports, and
2. submit complete funding documents to the manufacturers, as soon as possible.

  • The procedures for doing this will not change
  • SLPs implement the Medicare evaluation protocol stated in the Local Coverage Decision for SGDs (formerly known as the Regional Medical Review Policy (RMRP);
  • SLPs prepare complete evaluation and recommendation reports;
  • Physician prescriptions are obtained for the recommended equipment items;
  • All required documentation is submitted to the SGD manufacturers for processing.

The date of SGD delivery must occur before April 1, 2014.

About United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. We all use AAC when we make facial expressions or gestures, use symbols or pictures, or write.

People with severe speech or language problems use various AAC methods to supplement existing speech or replace speech that is not functional. Special augmentative aids, such as picture and symbol communication boards and electronic devices, are available to help people express themselves. This may increase social interaction, school performance, and feelings of self-worth.

Unaided communication systems- rely on the user's body to convey messages. Examples include gestures, body language, and/or sign language.

Aided communication systems -require the use of tools or equipment in addition to the user's body. Aided communication methods can range from paper and pencil to communication books or boards to devices that produce voice output (speech generating devices or SGD's) and/or written output. Electronic communication aids allow the user to use picture symbols, letters, and/or words and phrases to create messages. Some devices can be programmed to produce different spoken languages.

Start USSAAC Membership Here.

USSAAC Welcomes the following new Board Members for 2014

  • President Elect - Lateef McLeod
  • VP for Financial Affairs - Bob Conti
  • ISAAC Liason - Rose Anne Sevcik
  • VP of People who use AAC - Yoosum Chung
  • Advocacy Director - Lewis Golinker
  • Great Lake rep - Lisa Timm
  • Northeast rep - Joseph Novak
  • Southeast Rep - Glenn Mososo
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