The Healthcare Committee of the Mississippi Speech-Language-Hearing Association took a stand against a policy of United Health Care. The result was a reversal of policy.
United Health Care, a managed care company administrating Medicaid funds in Mississippi, adopted a narrow definition of
“medical necessity.” The result was denial of speech and hearing services to almost all children ages 0-21 seeking help.
The committee’s efforts included initiating an email thread to discuss talking points, studying the Medicaid Administrative code to determine what should be approved or denied, urging parents to contest denials, and setting up conferences with decision makers.
United Health Care officials provided guidance. Policy makers at Division of Medicaid were attentive to our needs. The result of the collaboration was to postpone the prior authorization of services by UHC until 2019.
Speech-language pathologists spoke and policy makers listened, resulting in preservation of services for Mississippi children.
MSHA VP of Healthcare
Monday, October 15, 2018
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
1. Organize your digital materials, so you can easily access them in a session. Create YouTube playlists for certain types of videos that you use most often. Organize your no print or PDFs that you like to use digitally on your iPad by folders in your Google drive.
2. Make copies of all those IEP forms, checklists, health and developmental forms, etc. so you have a copy handy when you need to quickly put together a packet for a family. Have extra copies of homework sheets, graphic organizers you use often, or parent handouts.
3. Make a binder for something you have to reference often like your speech referrals. When everything is in one place, it is easier to pull speech referrals or give forms to parents and teachers.
- Include parent consent forms, a log to list when you screened a student, developmental norms, and whatever else you might need.
- Make a binder or therapy resource box filled with all the materials you need for a certain skill. You have those students/groups where you have a plan in mind for therapy, but prepping items for them each week is time consuming.
4. Block out time in your week that is devoted to preparing materials that will help reduce lesson planning time all year long. If you don’t dedicate and schedule in that time, it will either never get done or you will stress doing it at home after a long day. Only prep those materials you need right now, or grab n’ go materials for future sessions. If you are limited on time, don’t prep the WHOLE resource if you only need part of it for the week.
5. Make cheat sheets for books, sensory bins or toys that you use all the time. This will help you remember what vocabulary words you want to use or words that have your students’ speech sounds. You will have wh-questions handy and won’t have to think on the spot.
6. Organize your materials by theme for the whole year. When SLPs have a place for materials, you will be able to easily access them as you change themes. Make a bin that is filled with all of your sensory materials. Each month, pull out all of your themed resources and keep by your therapy table to grab as needed.
7. Organize your Google calendar for at least the next three months. Take time to look at upcoming assessments and IEPs you have. It is important for SLPs to schedule in when you are going to test those students on your calendar. When you have your day/week scheduled out, you will know how to plan better for the week. Schedule all your IEP meetings on the calendar, so you can start preparing those documents weeks ahead of time. You can also make a month at a glance calendar to see all the meetings/IEPs you need. That way each day, you can write down the top three items you need to do for that day or week.
Director of Outreach
Disability Benefits Help
How Can An Adult With A Speech Disorder Qualify for Disability Benefits?
If you have a speech disorder that affects your ability to communicate so much that it impacts your ability to work, you might qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are many different speech disorders that can affect an individual’s ability to speak or be comprehended by others. This can lead to the inability to work. These impairments are diverse and can be the result of damage to the nerves or brain that control the speech functions, physical impairments, or progressive diseases, such as ALS or Parkinson’s disease.
Qualifying for Disability Through A Blue Book Listing
The SSA uses its own manual, known as the Blue Book, to evaluate applicants and award disability benefits accordingly. To be approved by a medical listing in the Blue Book, you must meet the specified criteria for that disorder. You will need to show your speech impairment meet the criteria for that condition. In addition, you must be deemed unable to perform a job. You will need to prove that your impairment limits you enough so that you are unable to safely perform any job.
The Blue Book listing that applies to speech impairments is the Loss of Speech in . You must be able to provide medical records that indicate you don’t have the ability to produce speech that can be heard, sustained and understood. You will not meet the listing if you are able to use an electronic device or esophageal speech to articulate well enough to be heard and understood. You must prove that your speech is not an effective way for you to communicate with others.
Qualifying With a TBI
If you cannot meet this listing, you might qualify for benefits using the other listing. As an example, you might qualify under the listing for a traumatic brain injury (TBI), cerebral palsy, or stroke. To qualify with a TBI, you’ll need to show that you have difficulty moving two limbs (could be both legs, both arms, or a combination) that results in your to either stand from a seated position, balance while standing, or walk without the use of two crutches, a walker, or a wheelchair. You could also qualify with a TBI if you have severe difficulty performing any one of the following activities:
- · Understanding, remembering, or applying information
- · Interacting with others
- · Concentrating and completing tasks
- · “Adapting oneself,” which means controlling emotions when appropriate
The Blue Book listing for a speech disorder is very specific. If you’re able to communicate with others in any fashion, you will not qualify, but this doesn’t mean all hope is lost. You can find a listing for the condition that caused your communication difficulties in the Blue Book and qualify from there if you do not meet the loss of speech listing. The entire Blue Book can be found , so you can review it with your doctor to determine where you may qualify.
Disability for Hearing Impairments
If your loss of speech was caused by hearing loss, you may also qualify for disability. You cannot receive disability for mild or moderate hearing loss, but if you are deaf or have profound hearing loss, you might qualify for benefits. Two tests, an audiometry test or a word recognition test, are used to determine if your hearing loss is severe enough to receive disability benefits.
If you have cochlear implants, you will qualify for benefits for 12 months immediately after the implantation. Your case will be assessed again at the end of that period and if your condition has not improved, you might be eligible to continue receiving benefits.
Applying for Disability Benefits
If you are ready to apply for disability benefits, you can visit the SSA website at , call 1-800-772-1213, or visit your local SSA office in person to get the process started. The easiest way to apply is online, but you can always bring someone with you to apply in person if you’d prefer. It typically takes three to five months to hear back from the SSA regarding your claim.
Blue Book Listing for Speech Disorder:
Ambulation and Disability:
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Our invited speakers to the MSHA 2018 Conference received hand crafted magnets of the state of Mississippi made by the residents of The Mustard Seed!
MSHA was so excited to support those individuals within the state with speech and language difficulties as well as make such an impression on one of our invited speakers! See below the sweet letter from Dr. Margot Beckerman sent to “Seedster” Lindsay regarding her creation!
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