The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS), Alexandria, Va, has released the following statement regarding HR 3024, which was previously reported on in HR News on June 26 and in the July 2 edition of The Insider:

Nation’s ENT Physicians Respond to Disappointing and Misleading Statement By Leading Audiologist Association

Statement from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) President David W. Kennedy, MD, in response to the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) news release announcing the introduction HR 3024, federal legislation providing audiologists direct access to Medicare patients without a physician referral:

“The AAO-HNS has engaged the leadership of AAA on the issue of jointly drafting legislation that would provide Medicare patients with access to the highest quality hearing healthcare, and emphasizing the importance of coordinated care in the healthcare setting. AAA’s implied statement regarding AAO-HNS’ approval of the introduction of HR 3024 as a ‘placeholder’ for future negotiations is a disappointing, gross misrepresentation of the truth. Acceptable language containing appropriate and necessary patient safeguards was approved several months ago by both the AAO-HNS and AAA Boards of Directors, and we
continue to support that compromise. We do not support a return to unacceptable language that does not appropriately protect patients.

“The AAO-HNS remains committed to the introduction of federal legislation that will ensure patient access to the highest quality hearing healthcare. However, HR 3024 is not the fruit of any collaboration, and does not contain the appropriate patient safeguards. Our members will vigorously oppose the adoption of this legislation as introduced by Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR).”

The AAO-HNS represents nearly 12,000 physicians and allied health professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck.

[Source: AAO-HNS]