According to the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA), the Illinois Academy of Audiology (ILAA) and the Kentucky Academy of Audiology (KAA) boards have signed proclamations endorsing and supporting the 18×18 Initiative, which was unveiled at the 2013 ADA Convention in October (see January 2013 HR, p 44).

In addition to ILAA and KAA, the members of the ADA, the Georgia Academy of Audiology (GAA), the South Carolina Academy of Audiology (SCAA), and the Audiological Resource Association have previously lent support to and endorsed the initiative. As stated by ADA, 18×18 is designed to:

Amend Title XVIII (18) of the Social Security Act to provide for the treatment of audiologists as physicians for purposes of furnishing audiology services under the Medicare Program, to provide for a broadened scope of audiology services available for coverage under the Medicare program and to enable Medicare beneficiaries to have their choice of qualified audiologist—and to achieve this by the year 2018.

“The remarkable support for audiology’s 18X18 Initiative has given March Madness a whole new meaning,” said ADA President-elect, Brian Urban, AuD.  “It is reassuring to know that after thoughtful discussion and deliberation, both ILAA and KAA determined that the 18×18 legislative agenda will provide the most effective outcomes for taxpayers and Medicare recipients, while supporting the autonomous practice of audiology as consistent with other doctoring professions. We look forward to working with them and their members to achieve 18×18, for our patients and our profession!”

According to ADA, the proposed 18×18 legislation, if enacted, would:

  • Allow audiologists the autonomy to make clinical recommendations and practice the full scope of audiology and vestibular care as allowed by their state license and as dictated by their educational requirements and competencies.
  • Eliminate the need for the physician order required for a Medicare beneficiary to receive coverage of medically necessary, covered audiology and vestibular services
  • Allow for Medicare coverage of medically necessary, covered treatment services such as vestibular rehabilitation, cerumen removal, and aural rehabilitation provided by an audiologist practicing within their state defined scope of practice.

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Source: ADA