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Speech Generating Device Funding in the United States: Current Opportunities and Issues

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In the United States, funding assistance from public or private sources has been essential to secure speech generating device access. For more than 30 years, opportunities for SGD funding have expanded greatly and in some circumstances SGD funding is now accepted and routine. An expectation of “yes” is appropriate, but still, that result is never automatic. Instead, all speech-language pathologists must know and apply the basic elements of funding to conduct complete evaluations and prepare complete reports in support of SGD recommendations.

This session will review the programs that provide SGD funding, directing greatest attention to health-based funding programs. Focus on health benefits programs is warranted because they are the greatest source of SGD funding across the age-span and across the country. This session will review recent developments in several funding programs, including Medicare, the single largest source of SGD funding in the United States. In 2015, Medicare’s SGD coverage guidelines and payment practices were revised and updated. Developments in SGD coverage by Medicaid, CHIP, and the federal employee health benefits program; the impact of the Affordable Care Act on SGD funding by insurance; and funding program coverage of ‘tablet’ computers, also will be discussed.

This session will be led by Lewis Golinker, Esq., USSAAC Advocacy Director and Director of the Assistive Technology Law Center. In more than 30 years of service he has worked to expand SGD funding and access in all of these programs.


Lewis Golinker    
Assistive Technology Law Center
United States


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