Medicare Approves USSAAC Request for SGD Evaluation and Treatment to be Delivered by Telepractice

In August 2020 USSAAC submitted a request to Medicare for SLPs to be authorized to provide SGD evaluation and SGD treatment by telepractice.  Joining USSAAC in this request were 19 other organizations and 26 individuals.  The request was denied without explanation on January 20, 2021.  It finally was reconsidered by the new Administration and approved on March 30, 2021. 

On March 30, 2021, the Medicare program finally approved the request USSAAC submitted last August for SLPs to be authorized to provide SGD evaluation (CPT 92607 and 92608) and SGD treatment (CPT 92609) by telepractice.  The policy change can be found on the Medicare telehealth list: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-General-Information/Telehealth/Telehealth-Codes.  Confirmation that SGD evaluation and treatment are on the list can be made by searching the CPT (code) number for these services. 

The effective date for the policy change is January 1, 2021 and it will continue to be effective for the remainder of the public health emergency.  More information about the possible duration of this telepractice opportunity can be found at https://www.asha.org/practice/reimbursement/medicare/providing-telehealth-services-under-medicare-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/.    

The original USSAAC request to Medicare was submitted on behalf of 20 organizations and 26 individuals. View the original request and cover letter.

That request was denied on January 20, 2021, without explanation.  The request then awaited reconsideration as the new Administration came into office.  Its decision was announced March 30, 2021.

Policy change to expand or protect speech generating device access is never accomplished single-handedly.  This Medicare policy change is another example.  The success of this telepractice request was made possible by the following organizations and individuals who agreed to have the request submitted in their names:

Organizations

American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Monroe Speech Designs 
ALS of Michigan National Disability Rights Network 
Assistive Technology Law CenterPRC-Saltillo
Association of Assistive Technology Act ProgramsRehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America
Brain Injury Association of AmericaSmartBox
Center for Medicare AdvocacyTalk To Me Technologies
CommunicationFirstTASH
Eye Gaze, Inc.Tobii Dynavox
Forbes AACUnited States Society for Augmentative & Alternative Communication
LingraphicaWisconsin Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology Association

  Individuals

Tami Altschuler, M.S. CCC-SLPPamela Mathy, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Lisa Bardach, M.S., CCC-SLPMichelle McKelvey, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Sarah Blackstone, Ph.D., CCC-SLPAmy Miller Sonntag, SLPD, CCC-SLP
Yoosun Chung, Ph.D.Joni Nygard, M.S., CCC-SLP
John Costello, M.A., CCC-SLPPatricia Ourand, M.S., CCC-SLP
Catherine Davis, M.S., CCC-SLPBetts Peters, M.A., CCC-SLP
Melanie Fried-Oken, Ph.D., CCC-SLPWendy Quach, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Chris Gibbons, Ph.D. CCC-SLPMarci Revelli, M.S., CCC-SLP
Crystal Health, M.S., CCC-SLPAmy Roman, M.S., CCC-SLP
Carolyn Wiles Higdon, Ed.D. CCC-SLPJennifer Seale, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Richard Hurtig, Ph.D.Annette Stone, M.A., CCC-SLP
Joanne Lasker, Ph.D., CCC-SLPBarbara Weber, M.S., CCC-SLP, BCBA
Sarah Marshall, M.A., CCC-SLPOliver Wendt, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

 Other organizations that provided essential assistance and support but did not join this request include: 

  • ALS Association
  • ASHA
  • Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation 

Sincere thanks are owed to all.  

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