MSHA was recently approved by ASHA to receive two grants. These grants in the area of personnel and reimbursement issues totaled $8000. The activities which these grants will help to fund are in various stages of planning.
The grant for personnel issues will initially fund activities related to the development of Mississippi Department of Education licensure guidelines for speech language pathologists. The remaining funds, along with monies designated by MSHA Executive Board will support the development of a distance learning program through a consortium of the Mississippi universities with existing graduate programs.
The grant for reimbursement issues will support continued legislative efforts in obtaining coverage of hearing evaluations and hearing aids for children by private insurers in the state of Mississippi. A brochure highlighting the proposed bill and its positive benefits is being developed. In late October we will begin the grassroots campaign. At that time MSHA members will receive information that will help you communicate the importance of these issues to your legislators.
Activities effecting regulatory change within the Division of Medicaid to improve the coverage and continuity of services for Medicaid recipients are also part of the grant activity. There is a need for coordinated efforts by all professionals providing services to children birth to three. Our goal is to support the First Steps Early Intervention Program in the provision of services to all children in the state of Mississippi.