Legislative Update February 9th, 2017

SB1030 has passed the Senate floor and will be moving to the House of Representatives. The roll call was 26 (in favor) - 3 (not in favor) - 1 (not voting). Please click the link below to find the breakdown of senators who supported/did not support the bill.

https://legiscan.com/AZ/rollcall/SB1030/id/580590



ArizOTA Legislative Update SB1030 - January 2017

UPDATE January 31st, 2017
SB1030 has passed the Senates Appropriations Committee. The roll call was 8 (in favor) - 1 (not in favor) - 1 (not voting). Please click the link below to find the breakdown of senators who supported/did not support the bill.

https://legiscan.com/AZ/rollcall/SB1030/id/573914



Please click the links below to find the information on Senate Bill 1030

Senate Bill 1030
Senate Bill 1030 Fact Sheet


The Arizona Occupational Therapy Association with the support of Senator Nancy Barto introduced senate bill 1030.

  • This bill requires Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) contractors to include occupational therapy in provided outpatient health services for adults.
  • On January 18th, 2017 the Senates Health and Human Services Committee voted 6-1 in support of the bill.
  • The bill still requires to go through more committees in order to become law.

How can you help?

  • Educate yourself on the bill. To view the bill and fact sheet please visit our website at https://www.arizota.org/legislation/state
  • Stay up to date on where the bill is in the legislative processes by using the following link. https://legiscan.com/AZ/bill/SB1030/2017
  • Everyones help is needed to support this bill. We urge you to contact your Senators to review and support this bill. Please do not contact house members as the bill has not reached the house yet.
  • Get to know your Senator first either online or their platform, discuss common ground and what you can possibly help them with, mention the bill and how importance it is with the impact for healthcare, ask for an email address if you don't already have one to send them.
  • Providing personal stories such as rural challenges, lack of PTs to address specific areas ADLS of stroke patients, traumatic hand injuries, etc... would be incredibly helpful.
  • To find your state senator please follow the link below and enter your address. http://azredistricting.org/districtlocator/

Please watch your emails and the ArizOTA website for updates and any call to action.

Thank you



Telehealth Update (June, 2016)

Telehealth is an emerging area of practice for OTs. Arizona's telehealth coverage law includes "Health Care Services" for the following conditions: trauma, burn, cardiology, infectious diseases, mental health disorders, neurological diseases including stroke, dermatology, and pulmonology. However this coverage only allowed for telehealth services in rural areas previously. In Arizona a bill was recently signed by Governor Doug Ducey in May of 2016 to pay for telemedicine services across the whole state and not just in rural areas increasing the amount of people who can received telehealth services. Although this is a step in the right direction there is still room for improvement. Please read the full article here:

AZ Telehealth Law



Legislative Update February 2016

Attention all OT's and OTA's!

Our legislative committee has been hard at work advocating for our profession. Our main focus for this fiscal year has been to get occupational therapy services covered for outpatient adult AHCCCS patients. We are currently in the process of getting this bill, SB1305, passed through various committee's. The bill has already passed through the Human Services Committee as well as the Appropriations Committee. We are now awaiting for it to be passed in the Rules Committee before it goes to the senate and house for a vote.

As you already know the passing of this bill would be a historic triumph for OT's and OTA's all around the state to start working with the adult AHCCCS population who would  benefit from our services greatly.

It is important for all OT's and OTA's to read and familiarize themselves with the proposed legislation. We have provided the appropriate documents below including the bill SB1305, fact sheet, and an update from our lobbyist Scot Butler. In the near future we may be requesting a call for action to assist with the passing of our bill. To keep up to date with the bill you can follow the AZ government link provided below.

SB1305 - Bill Overview and Process
SB1305 - AHCCCS; covered services
SB1305 - Fact Sheet
ArizOTA February, 2016 Legislatve Update

It is also important to know who your state legislators are in case you may need to contact them regarding this bill. One way to obtain this information please enter your information using the following website: http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/

Please contact us with any questions or concerns at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Update on AHCCCS Proposed Legislation - February, 2015

At the beginning of December, Donna Gilbert and I met with the current AHCCCS government relations representative, Jennifer Carusetta. We reviewed the ArizOTA bill from 2007, under which OT and speech therapy would no longer be prohibited from receiving reimbursement for outpatient adult therapy. They were familiar with the concept and agreed to run some numerical models to see what the likely transition costs would be.

While waiting for the AHCCCS results, we contacted some legislators to work on possible sponsorship of a bill in the 2015 session. Senator Nancy Barto agreed to have a bill folder opened, but wanted to see the AHCCCS numbers before proceeding on with a bill. Regrettably, AHCCCS did not provide any numbers until Jan. 27, and the range provided was a cost of between $10.4 and $24.9 million. Needless to say, these numbers were not something that we wanted to use in connection with a bill, so we took two steps: (1) We noted for AHCCCS that in 2007 their analysis was that the cost was about $300,000, so we asked for an additional meeting; and (2) We notified Senator Barto and her staff that we would hold off seeking a bill until we could clarify some issues with AHCCCS.

The Senate bill deadline has now passed, so we will look at either an amendment or an item in the budget bills to promote the OT change. First, however, we must clarify what the costs actually are, since it is not helpful to have inaccurate numbers. A second meeting was held with AHCCCS on February 5. A complicating factor is the proposal from Governor Ducey to save money by reducing the reimbursements to AHCCCS providers by 3%. This proposal seems virtually certain to pass the Legislature, so ArizOTA will need to assess the impact of that change and whether it affects the goal of amending the adult outpatient statute.

We will advise the Board as soon as we have something from AHCCCS to report.

Scot Butler III
ArizOTA State Lobbyist



General Election Summary—Primary Results

* Denotes Incumbent

District 1 House:  Fann (R)*, Campbell (R)
District 1 Senate:  Pierce (R)*

District 2 House:  Clinco (D)*, Gabaldon (D)*, Ackerley (R)
District 2 Senate:  D’Alessandro (D)*, Estrella (R)

District 3 House:  Gonzales (D)*, Saldate (D)*
District 3 Senate:  Cajero Bedford (D)*

District 4 House: Otondo (D), Fernandez (D), Hopkins (R)
District 4 Senate:  Pancrazi (D)*, Uribe (R)

Read more: General Election Summary—Primary Results

ArizOTA Legislative Update - April 12, 2014

The Legislature passed the budget this past Monday, April 7, but the Governor had not yet acted on it. She can sign it, veto all of it, or make line item vetoes.

From the standpoint of healthcare and ARIZOTA, the budget is fairly positive. There are modest increases for AHCCCS and DHS, and no significant cuts. The key omission is funding for the new Child Welfare agency, where the Legislature issued some intent language, but the Governor will need to call a Special Session in about a month.

There are not many other bills of interest for ARIZOTA, as most of the bills on health care are quite specialized, and very few controversial ones are even still alive in the session (mostly abortion restrictions and similar bills). Obviously, the most controversial bill was SB 1062, which the Governor vetoed.

Once the budget passes, the session usually ends within 2-3 weeks. There are a couple hundred bills awaiting action, so we expect to see a lot of floor action starting this Monday. We will post a full and final report on the ARIZOTA website about two weeks after the session ends and the Governor takes action on all bills.

ArizOTA Response to DDD Rate Rebase Project

The Department of Developmental Disability (DDD) is in the process of proposing rate changes for services provided to their clients. One of the changes being looked at is the therapy rates. However, it was found that the rate difference between therapist and therapy assistants had too great of a difference. The significantly low rate for Therapy Assistants will negatively impact employers, current/future occupational therapy assistants, the occupational therapy assistant educational programs. If this domino affect happens, this will greatly impact client coverage for therapy services.

Read the Rate Rebase Project that ArizOTA Legislative Group put to together for details.

Thank you,
Jodi Lindstrom
ArizOTA President

ArizOTA Legislative Update - July 15, 2013

This is a brief legislative update for ARIZOTA members following the adjournment of the 2013 Legislative Session.  A final report will be available at the Annual Conference.

The 2013 Legislature was nearly two months late for normal adjournment when, on June 11, Governor Brewer called a Special Session to address the budget and her proposed Medicaid expansion.  In the Special Session, which adjourned on June 13, a coalition of all the Democrats and some Republicans passed a budget along the lines proposed by Governor Brewer, and also enacted her requested acceptance of the offer under the federal Affordable Health Care Act for states to increase their Medicaid eligibility to 130% of the federal poverty level and received matching funds of up to 90%.  The budget adopted by the Legislature restored some funding for both K-12 and higher education, another positive step. And the budget provided a 3% increase in the reimbursement rate for developmental disability providers, which did not make up for the 15% in previous rate reductions but was still better than nothing. The Legislature then adjourned the regular session one day later, on June 14.

ARIZOTA, along with nearly all other health care providers and many business organizations,  supported Governor Brewer and the Medicaid expansion.  This expansion will bring thousands of Arizonans back under health coverage and provide significant additional funding and services for both patients and providers. 

ARIZOTA also supported the Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners bill to clean up the confusion and problems involving supervision.  This bill, Senate Bill 1105, sponsored by Senator Nancy Barto, Senate Health Chair, passed and was signed by the Governor as Chapter 109. The bill will  become effective 90 days after the Legislature adjourned, which is September 13, 2013.

Please plan on attending the ARIZOTA Annual Conference, where the final budget and all bills of interest will be covered.