The South Carolina Academy of Audiology (SCAA) and the Georgia Academy of Audiology (GAA) adopted formal resolutions at their annual convention and membership meeting to support the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) 18X18 Initiative. The initiative, which was featured in a January 2013 HR article, was designed by the Academy to:

HR HagbergADA18x18_1112
Eric Hagberg, AuD, presents the 18X18 
Initiative to ADA members during the 
Academy’s 2012 Convention.

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 ADA introduced the 18X18 Initiative at its annual convention in November, and has committed substantial staff, volunteer, financial, and operational resources to help achieve it by 2018. The Academy stated in a press release that “18X18 is bigger than ADA or any single organization and its success hinges on the active support and sacrifice of the entire audiology community.” A downloadable PDF that describes 18×18 is also available from ADA.

“18X18 is about securing the best future for our patients and our profession by ensuring that audiologists are recognized as the entry point for audiologic care,” said ADA President Nancy Green, AuD. “We thank SCAA and GAA for their incredible vision and leadership as expressed by their enthusiastic support for this initiative. We look forward to working with them and other like-minded professionals throughout the nation to achieve 18X18.”

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.

The ADA Board of Directors recently appointed ADA Immediate Past President Eric Hagberg, AuD, to oversee advocacy activities related to 18X18 on behalf of the Academy and its members.

“It is my great honor to coordinate and execute plans to advance audiology’s 18X18 objectives,” said Dr Hagberg. “With the help of our allies, we intend to carry the 18X18 message to every audiology organization and indeed every audiologist, so that we can attain the best outcomes for our patients and our profession.”

Source: Academy of Doctors of Audiology