VOTA is Virginia's leading organization for occupational therapy practitioners and students. VOTA is committed to advocating for and further developing the profession of occupational therapy in our state.

Advocacy Wins
In October of 2020, VOTA board members voted to join a collaborative initiative between AOTA and NBCOT to pass legislation forming an interstate professional licensing compact for licensure portability for OT practitioners. The compact provides licensed occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants with the opportunity to practice in the states within the compact without having to secure a new license in each of these states.
Through funding and efforts from VOTA and our lobbyists, Senator Ghaza Hashmi introduced the bill for enacting the licensure compact in Virginia. On March 18th, 2021 Senate Bill 1189 passed, making Virginia the first state to successfully pass licensure compact legislation.

Virginia Becomes First State to Enact Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact | AOTA

In February 2022 the 10th state enacted the licensing compact with others planned to follow. The 20th state, South Carolina, signed on May 13, 2022.  The OT Compact Commission is scheduled to convene later this summer to establish rules and implement the data system in order to begin issuing compact privileges to practice occupational therapy.  Once the commission convenes it is expected to take 12 to 18 months to operationalize the compact.  Find more on the compact here.

An interstate licensing compact will:
    • Allow licensed occupational therapy practitioners to practice across state lines (e.g., telehealth) via a "compact privilege" which is equivalent to a license
    • Improve consumer access to occupational therapy
    • Enhance mobility of occupational therapy practitioners (e.g., spouses of relocating military families, staff of travel therapy companies)
    • Improve continuity of care
    • Address competition issues raised by the Federal Trade Commission and others
    • Preserve and strengthen the state licensure system
    • Enhance the exchange of licensure, investigatory, and disciplinary information between member states.

Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact | AOTA

For more information on the current state of the licensure compact, please use the following link: otcompact.org

Current Initiatives
More to come!

Meet our Lobbyist
Alexander Macauley, VOTA's legal counsel and lobbyist, provides free legal advice to VOTA members. He frequently assists VOTA members with a wide variety of legal matters including employment contracts, regulatory compliance, and licensure requirements. He can be reached at alexander@macbur.com.

Fun fact: Did you know that each year, members are eligible for one hour of free legal counsel with Alexander? Reach out to him- he loves to hear from members!

National Legislative News


AOTA Partners with Members for Payment Advocacy 
The AOTA Regulatory Affairs staff team closely monitors Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and commercial insurance plans for policy changes, such as NCCI coding edits that impact occupational therapy reimbursement. With regional commercial plans and state-specific Medicaid reimbursement, however, policies can vary widely, so the Regulatory Affairs team also relies on AOTA members and state associations to alert us to upcoming policy changes that will impact the provision of OT services and priorities for payment advocacy. Thanks to one member’s outreach, AOTA was recently able to address a problematic coding edit present in the national Medicaid NCCI edit table when CPT code 97530 (therapeutic activities) is billed by occupational therapy practitioners on the same day as CPT code 97533 (sensory integration). While the Medicaid NCCI edit rules do allow this code pair to be billed together with the use of a modifier to identify the services are separate and distinct from each other, the AOTA member was experiencing significant administrative burden in determining when to appropriately append the modifier on claims because the edit, present on the Medicaid NCCI edit table, was no longer being utilized by Medicare, which the member also bills for her services. Even when the modifier was correctly appended to claims with this code pairing, the member was experiencing delays with payment from Medicaid payers due to increased payer requests for medical records to support modifier use prior to paying the claims.

For more information on this issue, visit AOTA.

Effective Jan 1, 2022 new legislation was enacted that affected billing for OTAs. AOTA has been taking action in order to protect OTA billing. For more information, please visit AOTA's page: Capital Report: Congress Introduces Legislation to Protect OTAs From Pending Medicare Cuts | AOTA (you will need to be an AOTA member to login.)

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