The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has added new hires to its Public Affairs team. These include Joshua Veverka as State Policy Analyst, Jeremy Furniss, MS, OTR/L, as Coding and Payment Specialist, and John Ray as Legislative Representative.
The AOTA notes that in his role, Veverka will be charged with advancing the association’s public policy goals through a range of state legislative and regulatory affairs activities. To this end, Veverka will monitor and analyze proposed legislation and regulations impacting occupational therapy, assist state associations on issues pertinent to professional trends and issues, and serve as the AOTA liaison between association and state regulatory boards on professional trends and issues.
In his role as Coding and Payment Specialist, Furniss will offer analytical support connected to public and private payment policies, specifically in relation to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) as published by the American Medical Association (AMA) and activities of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). According to AOTA, Furniss will serve as an analyst for all AMA coding activities including development of CPT codes and support AOTA’s HCPAC Advisors and internal committees related to coding and reimbursement to formulate comments to the AMA.
As Legislative representative, AOTA states that Ray will represent the profession on Capitol Hill and advocate for AOTA’s interests before the US Congress and federal agencies, promote grassroots advocacy by AOTA members, monitor, and analyze federal legislative proposals to assess implications for the profession, conduct lobbying activities that proactively support the association’s legislative goals, and participate in membership education about advocacy efforts.
Christina Metzler, Chief Public Affairs Officer for the association, states, “…Our new staff will continue our mission to protect the integrity of the profession through licensure, and to ensure that occupational therapy is properly defined and paid for, that quality services are available to all who need them, and that any new coding and reporting requirements are tailored to recognize the distinct value of occupational therapy.”