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:
|American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation||Monroe Speech Designs|
|ALS of Michigan||National Disability Rights Network|
|Assistive Technology Law Center||PRC-Saltillo|
|Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs||Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America|
|Brain Injury Association of America||SmartBox|
|Center for Medicare Advocacy||Talk To Me Technologies|
|Eye Gaze, Inc.||Tobii Dynavox|
|Forbes AAC||United States Society for Augmentative & Alternative Communication|
|Lingraphica||Wisconsin Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology Association|
|Tami Altschuler, M.S. CCC-SLP||Pamela Mathy, Ph.D., CCC-SLP|
|Lisa Bardach, M.S., CCC-SLP||Michelle McKelvey, Ph.D., CCC-SLP|
|Sarah Blackstone, Ph.D., CCC-SLP||Amy Miller Sonntag, SLPD, CCC-SLP|
|Yoosun Chung, Ph.D.||Joni Nygard, M.S., CCC-SLP|
|John Costello, M.A., CCC-SLP||Patricia Ourand, M.S., CCC-SLP|
|Catherine Davis, M.S., CCC-SLP||Betts Peters, M.A., CCC-SLP|
|Melanie Fried-Oken, Ph.D., CCC-SLP||Wendy Quach, Ph.D., CCC-SLP|
|Chris Gibbons, Ph.D. CCC-SLP||Marci Revelli, M.S., CCC-SLP|
|Crystal Health, M.S., CCC-SLP||Amy Roman, M.S., CCC-SLP|
|Carolyn Wiles Higdon, Ed.D. CCC-SLP||Jennifer Seale, Ph.D., CCC-SLP|
|Richard Hurtig, Ph.D.||Annette Stone, M.A., CCC-SLP|
|Joanne Lasker, Ph.D., CCC-SLP||Barbara Weber, M.S., CCC-SLP, BCBA|
|Sarah Marshall, M.A., CCC-SLP||Oliver Wendt, Ph.D., CCC-SLP|
Other organizations that provided essential assistance and support but did not join this request include:
- ALS Association
- Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation
Sincere thanks are owed to all.