OCAT Students Attend Hill Day 2013Posted Oct. 21, 2013
Twenty-two second-year students from the Kent State University East Liverpool Occupational Therapy Assistant Program recently attended the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) 2013 Hill Day in Washington, D.C.
With 752 registered attendees, this was the largest Hill Day in AOTA history. It trumped last year’s record number of 500-plus attendees.
Hill Day is an opportunity for occupational therapy professionals to take their advocacy and concerns straight to their elected officials and educate them on the issues critical to occupational therapy.
For weeks preceding the conference, students in the OTAT program called to schedule appointments with the individual senators and representatives from Ohio. KSU students met in the offices of Ohio representatives Sen. Sherrod Brown, Rep. Bill Johnson and Rep. Tim Ryan and Rep. David Joyce.
The group of occupational therapy clinicians, educators and students advocated for congressional support to pass the Mental Health Act (H.R. 1037) to add occupational therapists to the federal definition of “Behavioral and Mental Health Professionals” under the National Health Services Corps.
Students and healthcare professionals also sought congressional support of the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act (S.367/H.R. 713) which seeks to repeal the therapy caps implemented by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
Both students and clinicians fully support repeal of the Medicare Part B outpatient therapy caps, which place arbitrary limits on access to medically-necessary rehabilitation services for all Medicare patients seeking outpatient services. Students and clinicians alike believe that it is critical that Congress continues to focus on the problem of the cap to ensure Medicare beneficiaries receive the proper care they deserve.
Bethany Zirillo, 330-382-7430, firstname.lastname@example.org