TSHA Legislative Agenda
The Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association (TSHA) has a robust membership of more than 5000 speech-language pathologists and audiologists, and it is the recognized authority on the delivery of life changing therapies to consumers with communication disorders throughout the state of Texas. TSHA is committed to shaping governmental policies and practices in order to promote the highest quality of life changing care for individuals with communication and its related disorders.
FOCUS ISSUES: ( Regulatory)
- Address regulations within the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), and the Texas Department of Health and Human Services (HHSC) to ensure the “scope of practice” of speech-language pathologists (SLP’s) and audiologists and other entities are adhered to in the diagnosis and treatment of children and adults with communication and its related disorders.
- Ensuring that scientifically based definitions of Evidence Based Practice (EBP) are utilized in the individual education, and health care, planning and provision of services to persons with communication and its related disorders by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), TDLR and HHSC.
- Work with the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), and HHSC to develop equitable funding formulas, and universal contracts for SLP’s and audiologists providing services in Texas.
- Address “encroachment” issues, particularly related to services for individuals with dyslexia and those on the autism spectrum.
LEGISLATIVE SESSION PREPARATION:
- Legislation that ensures that the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) Advisory Committee for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology is empowered to protect the public by the efficient and effective regulation of the profession.
- Legislation that protects consumers who have communication disorders.
- Legislation that ensures speech-language pathologists and audiologists provide the highest quality evaluation, habilitation, and rehabilitation services.
- Legislation and regulation that addresses encroachment on the scope of practice of speech-language pathologists and audiologists.
- Legislation that should, or does, include speech-language pathologists and audiologists in any public school funding bill that will increase salaries for teachers and other professional staff.
- Legislation that promotes funding for public education as necessary to provide students with an adequate and equitable education; TSHA also supports increased funding for higher education.
- Legislation ensuring existing state public education dollars are not reduced and/or redirected (e.g., to private and/or charter schools).
- Legislation that addresses efforts to streamline and reduce duplication of paperwork requirements, thereby increasing the availability of time for delivery of direct services to students.
- Legislation that enhances state funding for the Texas Medicaid program to stabilize provider reimbursement rates across all provider work settings.
- Legislation that mandates improved coverage for speech, language, hearing and balance disorders through public and private insurers for habilitative and rehabilitative services.