NJSHA’s Standing Committees
All committees are open to all NJSHA members, with the exception of those stating specific criteria.
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Committee News – April 2020
The next meeting will be 5/27 at 7:30 via Zoom. Link will be sent via email before the meeting date.
The Audiology Committee has had virtual meetings and email follow-up to discuss current issues impacting our members and the populations we serve. Priority issues include planning for convention 2021 and movement of the single license bill, as well as continued collaboration with NJAA to discuss educational audiology practices in NJ.
- Convention 2021: Following the difficult but necessary decision to cancel the NJSHA convention scheduled for April 2020, members of the Audiology Committee are working with the NJSHA Convention Committee to discuss options and planning for CE opportunities for our audiologist membership. We are pleased that NJSHA will once again be collaborating with the New Jersey Academy of Audiology to combine efforts and resources for CE. Our hope is to offer expanded Audiology programming at the 2021 NJSHA Convention. Once we have Board approval, we will meet to plan a full Thursday and Friday Audiology program line up for the NJSHA Convention scheduled for April 22-23, 2021.
- Single License: At the request of the Audiology Committee, letters from NJSHA were sent to the NJ Audiology and Speech Language Pathology Advisory Committee and the two NJ legislators who sponsored our Single License bill (Senator Diegnan and Assemblywoman Huttle) to inquire about the delay in implementing single licensure for audiologists. The letters reminded the licensing board and the legislators that Governor Murphy signed the bill in March 2019, and the Advisory Committee at their 3/21/19 meeting agreed to amend the Scope of Practice regulations for certain audiologists to include the fitting and dispensing of hearing aids, yet the process has not yet moved forward. The letters stressed the burdens that these delays have created for practicing audiologists and new graduates. We have asked that these entities weigh in with the Division of Consumer Affairs to investigate the delay and urge them to act on this bill. The Audiology Committee will ask NJSHA’s legislative agents to follow up on the letters within 2 weeks unless a response is received earlier.
- Educational Audiology: A goal for the Audiology Committee for 2020 is to evaluate educational audiology processes in NJ and work with NJAA to further define “educational audiologist” and the scope of audiology services in schools. A working group of representatives from both professional organizations plans to investigate educational audiology practices in other states and confer with experts in the profession on how we may enhance service delivery in NJ. The NJSHA Board registered support for this project at the January meeting.
As you are well aware, Convention 2020 has been cancelled. Although we are extremely saddened and disappointed, this unprecedented action was necessary for the safety and health of our members. The Convention Committee wants you to know we are working diligently preparing for 2021. We will keep you posted with the details as they unfold. We sincerely hope to be “Sea-zing the Future” with you at Convention 2021, April 22-23. Most of all, we wish you and all your loved ones continued good health and safety.
- Early Intervention is up and running and flourishing with Telehealth. The Department of Health is supportive of Telehealth and the use of the Telephone if families do not have access to a screen/camera or a smart phone. They have not endorsed E-Vite. The session are 100% coaching with the parents in the drivers seat. Speech Pathologists are well prepared as they have the opportunity to see the “real world” viewing siblings during play interactions and their clients. Parents are being provided strategies to enrich their interactions with their children.
- On 4/14/2020, the governor signed a bill permitting professional/occupational licensing boards to reactivate their NJ licenses of certain professions during the state of public health emergency. Pragmatically, this has facilitated speech pathologists’ abilities to acquired their NJ licenses within one day when the licensing board’s office is essentially closed.The Medical Assistance Advisory Council met on 4/22/2020. Medicaid will cover speech, physical, and occupational therapy including ABA up to the age of 13. The federal mandate to implement Electronic Visit Verification for home health services remains in effect and must be implemented by 1/1/2021. In light of COVID 19, Telehealth rules have been relaxed. Members may receive care from health care providers at home using Telephonic outreach: using a regular phone or smartphone apps. NJ FamilyCare expanded it’s partnership with Logisticare to enable food delivery to some beneficiaries, and transportation of some providers like home health aides to member’s homes. Developmental Disabilities Division is permitting some family members who provide care to be paid as caregivers due to the staffing shortages. NJ FamilyCare premiums for families who normally pay have been suspended starting in March. Online applications are recommended to apply for or to extend Medicaid coverage during this emergency. The phone support line is 1-800-701-0710.
There are three types of communication services: Telehealth which is face-face, Telephone communication which is non-face to face, and E-Visits.
Telehealth Services are covered by some commercial payors and Medicaid when the members have this coverage in their plans. Many co-pays and co-insurances are waived; however, not the deductibles. The patient/client must have a camera enabled device for Telehealth. The therapy for adults must be conducted in private settings due to HIPPA and consent for Telehealth must be obtained. Medical records must be kept with time in/time out recorded for the session. CPT codes for manual therapies may not be applied. Modifiers like “GT” or “95” must be applied for audio/visual telecommunication depending on the insurance company. Telehealth Place of Service Code must also be applied. At this time, Medicare is not covering speech, physical, or occupational therapies as the professionals are regarded as suppliers. Private practices will be eligible for Medicare coverage first over outpatient hospital settings due to professional billing verses facility billing.
Graduate Student Clinicians who are enrolled in CAA-accredited or CAA-candidacy programs are permitted between 3/16/2020 through 5/31/2020 to engage in Telepractice service delivery when receiving 100% real time direct Telesupervision of the session.
Telephone services are covered by all payors at this time. CPT Codes 98966-98968 are billed according to minutes of medical discussion. Telephone services are provided to patients who are unable to meet the telehealth equipment requirement. There is a Place of Service code. The telephone call may not relate to a service performed and reported within previous seven days and does not lead to a visit within the next 24 hours. For Medicare, the therapist may not bill a second interaction within seven days post visit. GP Modifier is required as a “sometimes therapy” for Medicare.
E-Visits may be billed by speech pathologists; however, not audiologists as of 3/22/2020. E-Visits were considered to be outside the audiology diagnostic benefit category. There are three G Codes: G2061-G2063 which are based on total amount of cumulative time e-mailing during a seven day period. A qualified non-physician healthcare professional conducts an online assessment or treatment for an established/existing patient on program. Documentation of the E-Visits are required with time in and time out. The professional may bill once within the seven days. E-Visits are subject to the 20% coinsurance payment.
Higher Education Committee
The Higher Ed Committee has been working diligently in these unprecedented times to identify student and academic issues and provide solutions as a result of COVID-19. Some highlights of their efforts include:
- The Supervisor’s CE will be a live webinar on Wednesday, May 13 from 6:30 – 8:30. Topic has been changed to best practices for telepractice and telesupervision of graduate students and will be presented by Jennifer Drencheck-Cristiano. The original date was changed so that supervisors can have needed information as soon as possible/before summer sessions begin.
- Registration is now open at this link for clinical supervisors: https://www.njsha.org/continuing-education/conferences/#supervisor
- The student awards ceremony will now be held virtually on Wednesday May 20 at 7 pm.
- Please see the NJSHA Members site for the most up to date Grad Student programs information, CF issues information and all other related information as it is frequently changing
Legislative Affairs Committee
Please go to the COVID 19 section for the latest legislative updates and other resources.
The Multicultural Issues Committee is actively seeking new members. If you have any questions or are interested in joining the committee, please contact the Multicultural Issues Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The chair of the Audiology committee shall be appointed by the President for a two-year term, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. A vice-chair shall be appointed by the chair of the committee. The Audiology Committee works to serve as a source of information for NJSHA members and the individuals we serve. The committee advocates for the association members by monitoring, discussing, and engaging legislators to address key public policy issues at the state level that affect audiologists and the consumers we serve. The committee members also work collaboratively with the New Jersey Academy of Audiology (NJAA) to ensure that the annual NJSHA convention provides opportunities to learn from national leaders in the field of Audiology. The committee suggests continuing education topics, serves as a resource for the audiology program for NJSHA’s annual convention, and presents the Audiology update at the NJSHA Convention.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication Chair
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President for an initial term of two years, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. A vice-chair shall be appointed by the chair of the committee. The Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Committee works collaboratively to promote evidence-based practices in AAC assessment and intervention. The committee provides resources and support for members of NJSHA through regularly scheduled online meetings and goal centered projects. A variety of AAC topics are addressed regarding those with complex communication needs along the age continuum and across clinical as well as educational environments. The committee is open to all NJSHA members desiring to grow their AAC knowledge base.
Continuing Education Chair
Juliette Skoldberg, MS, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President for a two-year term, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. A vice-chair shall be appointed by the chair of the committee. The committee will work cooperatively with NJSHA’s management company and continuing education consultant to plan, promote and deliver NJSHA sponsored and co-sponsored continuing education events within the parameters of the annual budget. The committee will provide continuing education programs to meet the needs of NJSHA members through regular professional development offerings and generate revenue to allow NJSHA to provide continuing education as an on-going service.
Convention Committee Chair
Cindy D’Antonio, MS, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President and shall hold this position for a two-year term, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. The vice-chair also shall be appointed by the President in conjunction with the committee chair and will be expected to take over the role of chair after a two-year term as vice-chair. The committee will plan the program for the following year’s convention and will submit a quarterly article to VOICES regarding convention updates.
Ethics Committee Chair
Linda Tucker-Simpson, MS, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President for a two-year term, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. A vice-chair shall be appointed by the chair of the committee. The Ethics Committee is charged with researching, deliberating on, and responding to questions of an ethical nature from the membership. The role of the committee is to provide information to the membership, as well as the public.
Finance Committee Committee Chair
Joan Warner, MS, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee is the Treasurer. The members are the President, President Elect, Secretary, Immediate Past President, and two NJSHA members at large. The Finance committee is responsible for developing a balanced budget to present to the Board of Directors for approval, reviewing proposed expenditures that are not in the budget and making funding recommendations to the Board, reviewing and presenting to the Board the financial implications of suggested new projects. The Finance Committee follows the procedures and policies as delineated in the Financial Policies document.
Barbara Schwerin Bohus
Healthcare and Early Intervention Committee Chair
Barbara Schwerin Bohus, MS, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President for a two-year term, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. A vice-chair shall be appointed by the chair of the committee. The committee shall serve as a source of information on healthcare and early intervention issues for members. The committee will discuss current healthcare issues affecting individuals across the lifespan. The committee monitors issues related to healthcare funding, including early intervention, Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance; and provides information and advocacy to members and consumers. The committee suggests continuing education topics to the Continuing Education committee and presents the Healthcare update at the NJSHA Convention. The committee will collaborate with the ASHA State Advocates for Reimbursement (STARs) and the State Advocate for Medicare Policy Network (StAMP) representing New Jersey.
Higher Education Committee Chair
Kristen Victorino PhD, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President for a two-year term, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. A vice-chair shall be appointed by the chair of the committee. The committee will make recommendations to the Board regarding student and academic issues and will promote developments in higher education including, increasing and promoting the student advocacy initiative and supporting student research projects. The committee will actively collaborate with the Student Involvement committee. The committee will remind each college or university to select its program’s recipient of the Marni Reisberg Student Award and the Outstanding Doctor of Audiology Student Award.
Honors and Awards Committee Chair
Kathleen Palatucci, MA, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be the President Elect. The President will appoint committee members to include one audiologist and two current NJSHA members who were previous award recipients. The committee will review the categories and criteria for honors and awards, review all nominations submitted, and recommend award recipients to the Board.
Legislative Committee Chair
Mary Faella, MA, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee will be the Immediate Past President or his/her appointee. The President shall serve as vice-chair. Members of the committee shall consist of the chairs of the following committees: Alternative/Augmentative Communication (AAC), Audiology, Healthcare and Early Intervention, Higher Education, Multicultural, Private Practice, Public Relations, and School Affairs. The committee shall address legislative, regulatory, or other related issues for the Association, and work directly with the legislative agent. The committee members will present the chair with concerns regarding issues that might require legislative action. The primary point of contact for the legislative agent is the Legislative Chair. The chair need not submit a committee report, but rather will relate details of the legislative agent’s report to the Board if the legislative agent is not present during the meeting.
Media Committee Chair
Natalie Neubauer, MS, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President for a two-year term, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. A vice-chair shall be appointed by the chair of the committee. The committee will coordinate the distribution of information to members and the larger community through social media outlets and electronic communications, including the website. The chair and vice-chair will coordinate all information updates on the website. Members of the committee will collaborate with chairs of all NJSHA committees to support distribution of information to all NJSHA print and electronic outlets. The committee will oversee compliance with the NJSHA Social Media Disclaimer.
Membership Committee Chair
Kathleen Palatucci, MA, CCC-SLP
The Membership Committee shall be chaired by the President Elect. The committee will engage in activities to attract new members to the organization and retain current members.
Multicultural Issues Chair
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President for a two-year term, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. A vice-chair shall be appointed by the chair of the committee. The committee’s goal is to raise awareness of multicultural issues related to the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology. The committee works to increase knowledge of appropriate assessment and treatment procedures for culturally and linguistically diverse populations (CLD); promotes multicultural topics through VOICES articles and other communications to the membership; and suggests continuing education topics to the Continuing Education committee.
Nominations and Elections Committee Chair
Mary Faella, MA, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be the Immediate Past President. The chair appoints five members, consisting of one representative from audiology and no more than one from each of the following professional settings: healthcare, schools, higher education, and private practice. This committee identifies prospective candidates to run for positions on the Board of Directors.
Private Practice Chair
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President for a two-year term, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. A vice-chair shall be appointed by the chair of the committee. The committee shall serve as a source of information on private practice issues concerning audiologists, speech-language pathologists and consumers. The committee will provide resources and references that address private practice issues, concerns, and ethics. The committee will propose continuing education topics to the Continuing Education Committee and collaborate with the ASHA State Advocates for Reimbursement (STARs) for audiology and speech-language pathology to address scope of practice issues.
Public Relations Committee Chair
Donna Spillman-Kennedy, MS, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President for a two-year term, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. The goal of the committee is to increase NJSHA’s visibility as a premier health and educational resource among key stakeholders (e.g., school personnel, health care-providers, populations served, legislators, media, and general public) The committee develops a campaign to increase public awareness of speech-language and hearing disorders, and services provided by speech language pathologists and audiologists, as well as its efforts in advocacy and contemporary topics and issues. The primary point of contact for the public relations consultant will be the Public Relations Chair.
School Affairs Committee Chair
Nicole Ford, MS, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President for an initial term of two years, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. A vice-chair shall be appointed by the chair of the committee. The committee will address the needs of school-based members who are speech-language specialists (SLSs) and audiologists employed in New Jersey schools. The committee will work with the legislative agent to advocate for SLSs, audiologists, and the students they serve, as well as function as an information resource on school-based issues. To accomplish these tasks, the committee will engage in a variety of activities related to monitoring and responding to changes in the New Jersey Special Education Code, other codes relative to education, and legislative bills; addressing individual members’ concerns; presenting the SAC update at the NJSHA Convention; meeting annually with the NJDOE, along with the legislative agent, to discuss concerns; and educating consumers about the roles SLSs and audiologists play in the schools. The committee will collaborate with the ASHA State Education Advocacy Leader (SEAL).
Student Involvement Committee Chair
Demi DeAngelis, SLP Graduate Student- Stockton University
The chair of the committee shall be the student member appointed to the Board of Directors by the President for a non-voting, one-year renewable term, not to exceed two years. The mentor to the chair shall be a representative on the Higher Education Committee from the program in which the student is enrolled. The liaison to the Board is the liaison to the Higher Education committee. The committee chair shall select six additional student liaison members to represent each of the New Jersey university training programs. The committee’s charge is to establish, maintain, and enhance an active, current network among students from all New Jersey audiology, speech-language pathology, and communication sciences and disorders training programs to help increase student membership and awareness of the benefits and activities available to NJSHA members. The committee will collaborate with the Membership Committees; contribute material to VOICES and the website; work with the Higher Education Committee to plan and execute the student advocacy initiative; and share information with other NJSHA committees that address topics relevant to students. The committee will establish and maintain contact with ASHA’s National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA) to help merge national and state associations’ efforts.
VOICES Editorial Board Chair
Robbie Lazarus, MA, CCC-SLP
The chair of the Editorial Board shall be appointed by the President and will serve as editor of VOICES. The chair will serve for an initial term of two years, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. The Editorial Board consists of six members: the editor, the President, and four additional members appointed by the editor. There will be one representative from each of the following work settings: Audiology, Healthcare, Higher Education, Schools and a member-at-large. Each member of the Editorial Board will be appointed for an initial term of two years, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. One of these members shall serve as vice chair. The Editorial Board will oversee all content in VOICES.