white background with green arrow making a circle around the path head 2021 annual GOTA conference

Register NOW for the 2021 GOTA Virtual Conference

 

GOTA's annual conference is being held virtually October 15th-17th, 2021!

Registration Now Open! Click Here to register

registration closes October 11th, 2021

Embark on The Path Ahead and earn up to 17.5 Continuing Education Credits

Preview the Conference Program here to see a list of the exciting presentations available.

 

Registration Fee:

Member OT: $145

Member OTA: $135

Member Student: $50


Non-member OT $235

Non-member OTA $205

Non-member Student $75

 

Become a GOTA Conference Exhibitor or Sponsor,

 Click Here for more information


 

HB268 Update

5/11/2021

We have good news to share. GOTA has just received word from Tom Bauer, GOTA Lobbyist, that Governor Kemp has signed HB 268: The Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact.

We appreciate all the work that GOTA Lobbyist Tom Bauer has put into making HB 268 a reality for Georgia OT practitioners.

We are grateful to Rep. Bill Werkheiser, our bill sponsor, who has worked closely with Tom in making sure our bill was signed and was at the Governor’s office today to ensure that it will happen.

Thank you to Chuck Wilmarth from AOTA Health Policy and State Affairs, Shaun Conway, External and Regulatory Affairs at National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. NBCOT, and Dan Lodgson from the Council of State Governments for guiding us from the compact’s early beginnings until completion.

Lastly, many thanks to you, GOTA Members and Georgia OT practitioners who answered our calls to action and took the time to call the Governor’s Office last week as well as emailed and called legislators this weekend. Your efforts made a huge difference! This is grassroots OT advocacy at its best.

Aileen Deogracias, OTR/L
Georgia Occupational Therapy Association
Regulatory and Reimbursement Chair


 

HB 268 ALERT!

HB 268, the Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact bill is still on Governor Kemp’s desk awaiting his signature.  

The deadline is Monday night 5/10/2021.
 
Please call the governor at 404-656-1776, follow the prompts to “press 3”, and leave this message:  “Please ask Governor Kemp to
sign HB 268, the Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact”.
Whether or not you have already called the governor, GOTA needs you to email your State representative and senator and ask
him or her to contact Governor Kemp’s office before Monday night in support of HB 268.  You may identify your legislators by
going to www.legis.ga.gov. and clicking “Find Your Legislator.”  Their email address is at that site as well.
In your email, you may use the following talking points:

  • HB 268 overwhelmingly passed the Georgia House and Senate
  • The military strongly supports HB 268 because it helps military personnel to be licensed when they relocate
  • HB 268 requires a criminal background check before receiving reciprocity
  • HB 268 promotes access to healthcare in rural areas by facilitating use of telehealth services
NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT.  THANK YOU!    
Aileen Deogracias, OTR/L
Georgia Occupational Therapy Association
Regulatory and Reimbursement Chair
[email protected]
 

Purchase your GOTA T-shirt 

Created by GOTA students. All Proceeds benefit GOTA. 

Multiple tshirts

Click Here to Purchase 


 

Update: OT Licensure Compact

 AOTA and NBCOT are collaborating to support the development of an interstate licensure compact for occupational therapy to address licensure portability. This compact will provide licensed occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants with the opportunity to practice in the states that join the compact without having to secure a new license in each state. The GOTA took part in the supporting this legislation starting in summer of 2020. GOTA is excited to announce that the OT Licensure Compact passed in both the House and the Senate. Visit the Membership Resource Page Here  to review the progress of supporting this legislation and find out the next steps. 

 

flowchart with blue arrows


 


ACT NOW

On December 1st the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a 9% cut to Medicare Part B therapy services beginning in 2021. Despite ongoing advocacy and thousands of comment letters opposing these cuts, CMS made the decision to implement these payment changes.  These cuts affect a wide range of healthcare providers including therapy practitioners, surgeons, radiologists and more.

Convincing Congress to take action and halt these cuts is the only option we have left.  AOTA is asking for your assistance to make sure Congress prioritizes stopping these cuts in the next week and a half. 

Write to your Members of Congress asking them to stop these cuts through AOTA’s Legislative Action Center: https://cqrcengage.com/aota/app/write-a-letter?4&engagementId=509002 .  We need Congress to take action by the end of next week and stop these cuts! 

Help Links

You can learn more about recent Congressional pressure to stop these cuts here: https://www.aota.org/Advocacy-Policy/Congressional-Affairs/Legislative-Issues-Update/2020/Congress-Stop-Looming-Cuts.aspx

Read in-depth information about the final fee schedule and the impact on occupational therapy services here: https://www.aota.org/Advocacy-Policy/Federal-Reg-Affairs/News/2020/CY2021-Medicare-Physician-Fee%20Schedule.aspx

 


 

Missed the GOTA & AOTA Licensure Compact Meeting?

blue powerpoint slide

Link and Passcode to watch the full recording are on the Membership Resource Page Here 

For more information also Visit: https://otcompact.org/about/

 


 

AOTA Calls for Choosing Wisely Recommendations 

9/16/2020

What is Choosing Wisely?

Choosing Wisely is an initiative of the  American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation that seeks
to advance a national dialogue on avoiding unnecessary medical tests, treatments and procedures.
 The mission of Choosing Wisely is to promote conversations between clinicians and patients by
helping patients choose care that is:
  • Supported by evidence
  • Not duplicative of other tests or procedures already received
  • Free from harm 
  • Truly necessary
Beginning in 2012, national organizations representing medical specialists have asked their
members to identify tests or procedures commonly used in their field whose necessity
should be questioned and discussed. Nearly 80 clinical organizations work with the 
American Board of Internal Medicine to create recommendations for the public. For
a full list of Specialty Society Partners, click here. 

AOTA is a proud partner in the Choosing Wisely Initiative

In providing best practice, AOTA is seeking member input to update their Choosing
Wisely recommendations. They are asking members to provide input through their
 Choosing Wisely Recommendations Surveywhich needs to be filled out by
 September 27, 2020. As an incentive you can elect to enter a drawing for a free
year of AOTA membership. For more information on AOTA's involvement in the
initiative, along with resources to support your practice, visit the
 AOTA Choosing Wisely page.
Many thanks to Helene Smith-Gabai, Ph.D., OTR/L, BCPR, GOTA RA
Representative to the AOTA for providing this update. 

 


AOTA Representative Assembly Seeks:

Members for Ad-Hoc Committees

7/24/2020

As a result of business approved during the May 2020 meeting series, the RA is seeking members for the following

ad hocs:

Call for Dry Needling Task Force Applicants: July 31 Deadline

Call for Mentorship Task Force Applicants: July 31 Deadline

Please encourage members and colleagues in your state to apply who may meet the criteria outlined by

sharing the links above.

Benjamin J Gross OTR/L
[email protected]
Vice Chairperson of the Affiliated State Association Presidents 
Representative Assembly State Presidents' Voting Proxy

 

Response to Racial Discrimination & Violence

 Black background with white words: "History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people." -Martin Luther King, Jr.
6/10/2020
The Georgia Occupational Therapy Association recognizes that silence is not an option. The GOTA is
currently working to identify concrete steps to hold ourselves, organization, and our community
accountable. The GOTA reached out to our community leaders regarding next steps. We plan to
directly engage members in the upcoming days. GOTA recognizes that violence and discrimination
against African Americans and persons of color is unacceptable. 

The GOTA in-line with the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Code of Ethics affirms the
right of every individual to access and fully participate in society.” AOTA’s Statement on Justice and
Systemic Racism indicates that “we must address the fundamental issues of diversity, equity, and
inclusion beyond conceptual factors.”

The GOTA encourages our members and the community to work towards social justice.
We call on members and the community to:

--Join the Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD) for their Ignite Change series!
Educating yourself and others is the first step to addressing the challenges we are facing. 
--Participate in the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Governance Enhancement Town Hall Meetings
to help determine how the national association moves forward. 

--Support Campaign Zero’s 8 Can’t Wait campaign. Learn more about their agenda to end police violence & join
their call for change. 
--Contact your community leaders. Call on them to implement The Leadership Conference Education Fund’s Guide

--Use the Multicultural, Diversity, and Inclusion (MDI) Network’s Cultural Competency Toolkit in your home, community,
and place of employment. 

--Engage with the National Black Occupational Therapy Caucus by heading to AOTA’s website. Utilize the 9 resources
NBOTC suggests as guidance on diversity issues as they relate to African Americans.

Action is needed now more than ever. Engage your community. Help us stand up to discrimination and violence. 

Georgia Occupational Therapy Association

 

Georgia Occupational Therapy Association

COVID-19 Response

5/26/2020

The American Occupational Therapy Association recently updated their COVID-19 resource page.
This included reorganizing the way content was presented for ease of use.
GOTA releases, the AOTA has made this content public to assist in response to the pandemic. 
impacted by the pandemic. Stay tuned to watch the upcoming mini-series
 Field Report: OTs & COVID-19. If you are interested in being interviewed or if you would
like to connect us with a clincian, please email [email protected] with contact information.
Clinicians featured in the Field Report: OTs & COVID-19 are
from around the United States. 
 

OTAs Added as Authorized TRICARE Providers

4/16/2020 
On March 16, the U.S. Department of Defense released the long awaited final rule that added occupational therapy
assistants (OTAs), as well as physical therapist assistants, as authorized providers of care in TRICARE, the health
care program for uniformed service members, retirees, and their family members. The final rule affirms OTAs' position
is April 16, 2020, meaning that services provided by licensed and qualified OTAs under the supervision of an
occupational therapist after that date are eligible for reimbursement by TRICARE. 

Keep Your Community Safe

GOTA encourages virtual engagement for members at this time 

With the onset of COVID-19 the Georgia Occupational Therapy Association encourages members to
closely follow Center for Disease Control and Prevention Guidelines. Until further notice, the GOTA
encourages members to engage in meetings and with fellow members virtually.


In line with the CDC, the GOTA recognizes that “for the majority of people, the immediate risk of being
exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low. There is not widespread circulation in
most communities in the United States.” 


The GOTA is doing its part to lessen the spread and impact of the virus by encouraging regional leaders,
members, and the community to follow the CDC’s guidelines to:

  • Practice good hygiene
  • Be careful with meetings and travel
  • Handle food carefully
  • Stay home if you are sick or someone in the home is sick
Please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webpage for the most up-to-date
information and to share educational materials with your workplace and community. 

We look forward to engaging with members virtually via internet conferencing, our webpage,
and via the GOTA YouTube channel.
 
The Georgia Occupational Therapy Association Board

 GA tele health news

GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY HEALTH APPROVES

MEDICAID REIMBURSEMENT OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

SERVICES VIA TELEHEALTH

 
The current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted an issue that GOTA was 
already addressing.  Specifically, GOTA has  received clarification from the Georgia Department
of Community Health (DCH) that that occupational therapists will be able to bill for telehealth
services provided under the Medicaid Children’s Intervention Services (CIS) program. 


In line with GOTA’s advocacy efforts, GOTA applauds the DCH's decision to waive certain policies
related to the use of telehealth in diagnosis and treatment. This is in response to the viral
pandemic and to provide continuity of services and treatment with reduced risk of exposure
to Medicaid/PeachCare for Kids members and providers. Please see attached document.
 
DCH is currently in the process of making adjustments, including the codes to be allowed,
in the Georgia Medicaid Management Information system (GAMMIS ) at this time so that the
therapy providers can submit claims for services. DCH has especially emphasized that
providers MUST comply with the billing rules for Telehealth. and must include the
appropriate Place of Service code and/or the appropriate modifiers (e.g., GT). 
 
DCH is reviewing all categories of service codes to identify additional codes that
can be included in telehealth reimbursement.  MMIS will be modified to include new codes
following DCH review.  We will post additional information as needed. If you have questions
related to telehealth/telemedicine, please contact the DXC Technology Provider Contact
Center at 1-800-766-4456 and/or your assigned Provider DXC Representative.
 
Providers may locate the Telehealth Guidance manual by accessing the following
link:  www.mmis.georgia.gov.  Select the “Provider Information” tab, then select
“Provider Manuals.”  Scroll down to locate the Telehealth/Telemedicine manual.
 
GOTA also reminds OTs that the Georgia Telehealth Act has recently gone into effect, and
occupational therapy provided via telehealth is included as a covered service.   
 
In addition, GOTA is creating a resource center to equip you with information and
guidance related to occupational therapy and Telehealth. We will be updating this
information on GOTA webpage www.gaota.com  as information becomes available.
Provider Messages-Telemedicine.pdf

Aileen Deogracias, OTR/L
Georgia Occupational Therapy Association
Regulatory & Reimbursement Committee Chair
[email protected]

 


 

Thank you to the 110 occupational therapists who

participated in Legislative Action Day 2020!

OTs stand inside the capital on steps, below the image the words read: Occupational Therapy Association Legislative Action Day 2020
 The goal for the 2020 Legislative Day was to thank our legislators who supported HB 253 & encourage
continued support on current legislation important to occupational therapy practitioners. 
HB253: http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/2...
 
Thank you to Aileen Deogracias, OTR/L Chair of the Regulatory and Reimbursement Committee.

 

Click here to see what Legislative Action Day is all about.


 

GOTA Launches YouTube Channel

Click the preview below to watch the first video & here for submission details.

Screenshot of the GOTA YouTube Channel featuring Kelsey Reeves of the Membership Committee.  


  

New to the profession or to GOTA? If you are a first time GOTA member join NOW to receive your first year of
membership for only $45. Please follow the link below to join.

GOTA Membership Application

*Please note this special is only for 2019*

 

 

 

GOTA Website Crash Course

2019 GOTA Website Crash Course.pdf

First page of the Crash Course PDF with the summary in front of text

Volunteer Opportunities

Feel like you need to make a bigger impact in your profession? Want to help advance Occupational Therapy in the state of Georgia? GOTA is the perfect organization to get started! We are actively looking for members to fill different executive board and committee positions. If you would like to get more involved, please click on the link below to learn more.

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