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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 August: Senators Hassan and Scott Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Expand Access to Occupational Therapy for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders.
“Occupational therapists can play a key role in helping patients with mental health and substance use disorders,” said Senator Hassan. “This bipartisan bill would clarify that Medicare and Medicaid can provide for occupational therapy for mental health and substance use disorders. I encourage my colleagues to support this commonsense bill.” The full press release is here.