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Ohio House Approves Bill Expanding Access to Care for Ohioans and Opportunities for Audiologists, Speech-Language Pathologists

May 6, 2021
Phil Plummer News

COLUMBUS –State Reps. Andrea White (R-Kettering) and Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) today announced the Ohio House has approved House Bill 252, legislation that enables Ohio to join the Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact (ALSP-IC). 

The bill would expand access to care for Ohioans and increase employment opportunities for audiologists and speech-language pathologists by allowing these professionals to work in multiple states – either in-person or through telehealth. 

“Ohio is facing a critical shortage of speech and hearing professionals, especially in schools and nursing homes,” said White. “This legislation supports Ohioans of all ages who face limited access to these important health care services in underserved and geographically isolated parts of our state.”

Through the compact, audiologists and speech-language pathologists licensed in their home state apply for a privilege to practice under the ASLP-IC.  Professionals who qualify can provide services in any compact member state, helping serve unmet needs and providing continuity of care when student or adult clients relocate or travel.  

The compact states communicate and exchange information including verification of licensure and disciplinary services while retaining the ability to regulate practice in their states.   

“Interstate compacts certify professionals have met acceptable standards of practice and promotes cooperation between compact member states in the areas of licensure and regulation,” said Plummer. “They are an excellent tool to expand opportunities for health care professionals without having to get licensed in multiple states and encourage cooperation of member states to promote the public’s health and safety.”

White also noted entering the ALSP-IC will help remove barriers for military families relocating to Ohio.  

“For those transitioning to our state for residency, particularly our military members who may only be here for a short duty station, it enables occupational reciprocity and helps reduce spousal unemployment and hardships as the settle in Ohio,” added White. 

Recently, the tenth state enacted the ASLP-IC into law, reaching the threshold for activation and establishing the ASLP Compact Commission. The commission is set to convene by this fall to establish rules and bylaws and implement the shared interstate licensure data system to allow for instant verification of good standing.

H.B. 252 passed with a vote of 93-0 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.