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12. Milestone Achievement for the Profession: Federal Government Revises Occupational Code for Art Therapists

from AATA National Office

From Nov. 30: On November 28, 2017, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published a Federal Register notice, “Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System-Revision for 2018” (82 FR 56271) announcing the federal government’s revised occupational codes, including reclassification of art therapists. After delaying for almost a year, the OMB adopted nearly all of the Standard Occupational Classification Policy Committee’s (SOCPC) final recommendations made in July of 2016. What does this mean for art therapists? It means that effective January 1, 2018, art therapists will no longer be classified as recreational therapists (under code 29-1125) and will, instead, be classified as “Therapists; All Other” (sub-code 29-1125). The AATA has worked for several years to correct this misclassification in the 2010 codes and is very proud of this achievement for the profession. The impact for the profession cannot be understated. The new SOC code will:
  • Require federal and state agencies and private employers to redefine job descriptions, pay levels, and hiring guidelines.
  • Require insurers to re-evaluate how art therapy services are defined and covered for individual and group insurance plans.
  • May open additional approaches for state licensing and regulation.

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