The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) have announced their agreement to join forces to develop legislation that expands access to and coverage of audiology services under Medicare. This legislation will include provisions that all three organizations have supported in the past, as well as a new provision:
- Expanding Medicare coverage to include both diagnostic and treatment services provided by an audiologist;
- Aligning patient access to audiology services under Medicare with patient access to audiology services outside of Medicare; and
- Reclassifying audiologists from “suppliers” to “practitioners” under Medicare.
This joint effort comes during a time when the nation’s healthcare systems are focused on outcomes and evidence-based treatments, according to the announcement. The organizations believe that, for Medicare beneficiaries who need hearing healthcare services, it is critical that audiology services be positioned in this new environment and that the full scope of practice for audiologists be appropriately recognized.
The organizations, which have a long history of clashing over Medicare reimbursement issues, say that further details will be shared in the future.
Source: ASHA, AAA, ADA
Possibly too little too late with the coming of OTC hearing aids.
Having the three largest audiology organizations come to agreement on this progressive legislative agenda is great news for the long-term viability of the profession.
Glad to see our three organizations working together!