Through the compact, patients, clients, and students stand to benefit from greater access to essential care.
ROCKVILLE, Md. (PRWEB) April 01, 2021
Patients, clients, and students will gain better access to needed speech, language, and hearing services as the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact (ASLP-IC), which allows audiologists and speech-language pathologists licensed in one state to practice in others, today achieved a necessary and critical milestone.
Long championed by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the ASLP-IC needed to be adopted by 10 states to become operational. That milestone was reached on March 31 when the governor of Nebraska signed LB 14 into law—allowing the state to join the ASLP-IC. This comes on the heels of Kansas signing on to the compact earlier this week. The other participating states currently are Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
“Through the compact, patients, clients, and students stand to benefit from greater access to essential care,” said A. Lynn Williams, PhD, CCC-SLP, 2021 ASHA President. “During the pandemic, many have become dependent on telehealth services. If they move out of state to another state that is part of the compact, they can continue to receive those telehealth services from their same, preferred provider. This is just one of numerous scenarios where the compact will offer convincing benefit to those with communication disorders.”
Williams added: “The activation of the compact is also a historic day for audiology and speech-language pathology professionals, who will no longer be subject to burdensome, duplicative, and expensive requirements to apply for and maintain licensure in multiple states—a major deterrent to holding more than one state license.”
Here are some ways in which the ASLP-IC benefits the public:
- Increases patient, client, and student access to care, particularly for populations who are currently underserved or geographically isolated
- Facilitates continuity of care in cases where those being served relocate or travel
- Certifies that audiologists and speech-language pathologists have met acceptable standards of practice
Here are some ways in which the ASLP-IC benefits professionals:
- Allows licensed audiologists and speech-language pathologists to practice face to face or through telehealth across state lines legally and ethically without having to become licensed in additional ASLP-IC states
- Enables military personnel and spouses to more easily meet professional requirements when relocating
Although 10 states is the required minimum, Williams noted that ASHA’s work isn’t done. “For maximum benefit to consumers and providers, ASHA hopes all 50 states will eventually join the compact.”
Before the compact goes into effect, a new ASLP-IC Commission will be created to serve as the compact’s governing body. The Commission will be responsible for ASLP-IC oversight and creation of necessary rules and bylaws. This is expected to occur within the next 6–12 months. ASHA members and the public can expect to benefit in 2022.
For more information about the compact, visit https://aslpcompact.com/.
About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 218,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems, including swallowing disorders. http://www.asha.org/