Chicago — The American Academy of Audiology (AAA) is calling on its members to send a quick email to their Congressional representative, urging them to support the ability of Medicare recipients to see audiologists without a physician referral.

Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark) has introduced The Medicare Hearing Health Care Enhancement Act of 2011 (HR 2140) to Congress. The bill has bipartisan support, having 11 original co-sponsors.

If passed by both the House and Senate and signed into law by the President, the legislation would allow Medicare beneficiaries the option of going directly to a qualified audiologist for hearing and balance diagnostic tests.

Currently, Medicare requires that beneficiaries with hearing loss or balance disorders obtain a physician referral before seeing an audiologist.

AAA has a new Legislative Action Center on its Web site that allows supporters of hearing health care related legislation to easily sign a pre-written e-mail to their Representative. The system also allows supporters to add to the message or to write their own message.

Go to this Web site for the entire action center. To support HR 2140, go to this specific AAA action alert.

SOURCE: American Academy of Audiology