AOTA's Blog

Insider's Guide Part 1: Medicare The year 2019 has been a contentious one in politics. Despite the fact that very few bills have been signed into law, there has been Congressional activity, some public and some behind the scenes.This activity will eventually shape laws and policies that will affect the profession, whether in this Congress, or in the years to come. As always, AOTA Federal Affairs staff have been busy advocating on your behalf. Here is Part 1 of a guide to the key issues we have been working on, including why the issues are important, and an insider’s view on the process. Part 2 will discuss AOTA activities around education, aging in place, ...
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To date in 2019, we’ve counted at least 582 positive news stories about occupational therapy . Of those placements, at least 309 were in news outlets that report an audience of more than 5 million viewers. You can view all of the media placements that provide the public with a better understanding of the profession on AOTA’s OT in the News page . All of these placements explain the distinct value of OT through the success of the clients or by providing tips for people to make life easier. We kicked off 2019 with some positive job rankings for both occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants with the following job rankings: U.S. News ...
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A federal appeals court has ruled that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional and sent the case, Texas v. United States , back to a lower court for a more detailed analysis of what parts of the law should remain valid in the mandate’s absence. This action prolongs the uncertainty over the health reform law’s status that started a year ago when the same lower court judge ruled that the entire law was unconstitutional. While the Supreme Court might decide take up the case right away instead of allowing it to go back to the district court, it will be months or even years before a final judgement—and the law remains in effect as it makes ...
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When I first heard the words, “evidence-based practice,” I was intrigued by the concept. In OT school we spent time examining the knowledge-to-practice gap, knowledge translation, and the establishment of best practices in of occupational therapy, but I was eager to learn more. From exploring the AOTA website, I discovered the opportunity to complete a fieldwork opportunity within the association, sent in my application, and before I knew it, dates were coordinated and my experience within the Knowledge division at AOTA was set to begin.  Evidence-based practice (EBP) is “the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions ...
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The seventh open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance Marketplaces runs through December 15 in most states. Following up on the November 1 blog post, here are five more things to know about where the health care reform law stands now: Reading the Fine Print Is More Important than Ever: Funding for “Navigators” who provide enrollment assistance to ACA Marketplace customers has been reduced significantly since the early years of the ACA, so there is less access to personalized assistance that could help people distinguish between comprehensive plans and skinnier alternatives. Experts at Georgetown’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms ...
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AOTA’s Older Driver Safety Awareness Week is coming: December 2-6, 2019. We invite all OT practitioners to get involved to help raise awareness of how the profession promotes community mobility for older adults. NEW THIS YEAR: In lieu of a Twitter chat that was historically used by AOTA’s partner organizations, AOTA will instead post a daily focus question intended to welcome input from ALL who have an interest in supporting older drivers and their families. Posts will appear on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook this year and will follow #ODSAW19. To participate: Follow @AOTAInc on Twitter, @aotainc on Instagram and search #ODSAW19. On Facebook, you ...
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Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance Marketplaces lasts from November 1 to December 15 in most states. As the seventh ACA open enrollment commences and the law’s 10 th anniversary approaches, here are five things to know about it now: The Texas Case: A decision from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas v. U.S. , a case challenging the constitutionality of the ACA, could come at any time, and based on the oral arguments many observers expect the three-judge panel to strike down the entire law. The Trump Administration has committed to enforcing the law while it’s being appealed, meaning nothing should change after the ...
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Just two days after the House of Representatives unanimously approved H.R. 2781 , which included the full language for the Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act (H.R. 3637), the Senate is moving to do the same. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Lisa Murkowski  (R-AK) introduced S. 2747. This bill is the Senate companion of H.R 3637, and the hope by our Congressional Affairs team is the Senate follow the same path to passing this legislation as the House. Follow along for all the latest information on AOTA's Legislative Action Center. Read AOTA's press release on the introduction of S. 2747 . Read the Senate one pager on S. 2747 .  #advocacy #OTadvocacy ...
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On Monday, October 28 th , the House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass H.R 2781, the EMPOWER for Health Act. Included in this bill was the language from the Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act, H.R. 3637. House passage is one of the major hurdles that a bill much clear before becoming law, however unanimous support is an incredibly promising sign. The bill still needs to pass the Senate, however we believe introduction there will occur very soon.  To learn more about the bill, and follow along on the latest, visit the workforce diversity page on AOTA’s Legislative Action Center.   You can find the press release from AOTA here .  #advocacy ...
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On September 23 rd , 2019, 521 occupational therapy advocates went to Capitol Hill to promote three issues that will have an impact on the occupational therapy profession. More information on those three issues can be found at the end of this post. AOTA’s Annual Hill Day is a wonderful opportunity for occupational therapy advocates from across the country to meet with their legislators and talk to them about issues that will impact their practice. We schedule the events of the day to make sure advocates are prepared to take action and have time to run around, across, over, and around (again) on Capitol Hill. Hill Day is a wonderful opportunity to speak to ...
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AOTA’s National School Backpack Awareness Day is fast-approaching: Wednesday, September 18. On this day and throughout September, students across the U.S. and around the world will participate in a variety of activities to learn about safe backpack use. Are you considering promoting tips for students to avoid pain from carrying heavy loads? Here are some ways to join this year’s campaign: Distribute information about safe backpack use . “Did you know that AOTA recommends that backpacks weigh no more than 10% of the student’s body weight?” This is a great opening line if you’re approaching people at a community event, or manning a table of materials ...
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Not every student or practitioner has the opportunity to experience firsthand the intricacies that go on behind the scenes at the American Occupational Therapy Association. As students and practitioners, we often find it challenging to understand all of the effort and dedication that goes into sustaining a successful professional association and why it is so important to be engaged in a way that best suits the needs and interests of its members. For my doctoral specialty internship, I was able to immerse myself within many unique experiences over the last 14 weeks in order to foster professional development in the areas of leadership, policy analysis, and ...
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“Alexa, schedule my OT appointment.” Smart home technology has been around for years, but it is becoming more common in homes around the U.S. Opportunities for your clients abound, so we put together a list of resources to get you up to speed on how to evaluate smart home products, build them into your clients’ existing routines, and help them learn how to use them to their full capacity. Start Here If this is all new to you, or you never really thought about how you’d use smart home technology in practice, start here with this article about 4 ways OT can make smart homes smarter . The article goes over the basic ways that occupational therapy can ...
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*UPDATE* On July 11th the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health met, and unanimously approved an amendment, which added the language from the Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act of 2019 to to HR 2781.  AOTA volunteer and policy staff’s hard work resulted in introduction of the Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act of 2019 on July 9 th in the US House of Representatives. The legislation is an important step to expand occupational therapy to be more reflective of the cultural, racial, ethnic, disability, and economic diversity of the nation as a whole. The bill proposes the creation of a new program to provide assistance to college and university ...
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Happy summer, everyone! I wanted to share a few of our favorite posts with books, movies, TV shows, and more that we think occupational therapy practitioners and students will love. Dust off that library card, fire up Netflix, and get ready to take some time to relax and recharge. You deserve it! The newest list of books we think you'll love was put together with the help of your OT colleagues. Find out their recommendations for 12 novels, memoirs, and nonfiction titles . You'll find everything from the latest Lisa Genova book to classic titles like  The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down . Want to zone out while watching a movie or TV show? ...
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AOTA member Shawn Phipps recently gave a TEDx talk about a client who says occupational therapy gave him his life back after a traumatic brain injury. The client, Armando Rodrigo, says, ““I want to thank you and occupational therapy for giving me my life back. I am able and independent to do everything by myself as I did before, and better.” Watch the talk below ( or on Youtube here ) to find out how Phipps helped the Rodrigo become independent after a head-on auto collision. Did you know that an occupational therapist was the organizer and curator of this TEDx? AOTA member Bill Wong applied his occupational therapy skills to the task of being ...
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AOTA just wrapped up our 1-day specialty conference on the Patient-Driven Payment Model. If you’re an occupational therapy practitioner working in a skilled nursing facility, the PDPM will roll out on October 1 and it’s time to get prepared! Read below for a few quotes from our conference speakers. See more quotes and tweets here . It's an Exciting Time "This is an exciting time for occupational therapy. Change is hard. We are perfectly situated because we are adaptable. We got this. We should be able to implement all these changes and be very patient-centered." - Sabrena McCarley "I am excited about PDPM. I really am. All I ever wanted to do was make ...
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AOTA’s Federal Affairs team is working with Congressman Bobby Rush of Illinois to introduce new legislation in Congress to help create a more diverse occupational therapy workforce. The legislation would create a new workforce diversity program that would be administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Schools of occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech, and audiology would be able to apply for funds to help recruit and retain students from groups currently underrepresented within the professions. For more details on this brand new legislation, check out the latest Policy Matters podcast with Heather Parsons and Abe Saffer ...
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Ready to get lost in your next novel, memoir, or nonfiction book? Your colleagues recommend these 12 books—from Lisa Genova’s latest novel to classic Oliver Sacks, you will find plenty of titles to add to your summer reading list! Comment with what’s on your list for this summer or join the ongoing discussion about books here . Memoir: The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida A Japanese boy diagnosed with autism when he was 5 learned to communicate using a handmade alphabet grid and began writing poems and short stories. He wrote this memoir when he was 13 years old. An AOTA member says it ...
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This post's title was the subject line of an email I got recently from Ladies Get Paid that made me raise my eyebrows! What a question! Negotiating your salary can be intimidating, especially if you are asking for a raise. The best way to make your case that you should be making more money is to have data that shows it. We can help you with that! AOTA’s 2019 Salary & Workforce Survey is the largest workforce study in the field of occupational therapy. Our last workforce survey in 2015 showed us that after just 6 years in the field, occupational therapists saw a $10,000 increase in their salary and occupational therapy assistants see a $9,000 increase. ...
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