The Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) has issued an announcement heralding the California Academy of Audiology (CAA)’s endorsement of the Audiology Patient Choice Act (HR 5304). The Act is aimed at streamlining access to audiology services for Medicare patients, and bringing Medicare in line with today’s best practices in the delivery of hearing and balance healthcare services.
According to the announcement, the Audiology Patient Choice Act, if enacted, will:
- Improve access to qualified, licensed Medicare providers, by allowing seniors with a suspected hearing or balance disorder to seek treatment directly from audiologists, eliminating archaic medical doctor order requirements;
- Allow patients to choose among qualified providers for Medicare-covered audiologic services by authorizing Medicare to reimburse audiologists for the Medicare-covered services that they are licensed to provide. These services are already covered by Medicare when delivered by other providers;
- Address the medical doctor workforce shortage confronting our country, while helping to meet the increasing demand for health care services by the growing Medicare population, through the inclusion of audiologists in the list of Medicare-recognized physicians (chiropractors, dentists, doctors of osteopathy, medical doctors, optometrists and podiatrists).
“We applaud the California Academy of Audiology for its strong endorsement of the Audiology Patient Choice Act,” said ADA President Kim Cavitt, AuD. “CAA’s support of this landmark legislation will markedly advance efforts to ensure that California legislators are well informed about the merits of the bill and the need for its long overdue changes.”
The Act, which was constructed to promote high-quality, cost-effective audiology care for Medicare patients, will reportedly not expand or add new services to the Medicare program; expand or modify an audiologist’s scope of practice; impact state licensure requirements for the practice of audiology; increase patient risk, or compromise quality of care.
More information about the Act can be found on The Hearing Review website via an August 2014 post that appeared soon after the Act was first introduced. Another Hearing Review article, which ran in November 2014, covered the AAA’s endorsement of the Act.
In further news issued by the ADA, Northern Illinois University (NIU) Chapter of the Student Academy of Audiology was the first university SAA Chapter to endorse the Audiology Patient Choice Act (HR 5304), since the bi-partisan bill was introduced in Congress on July 31, 2014.
For additional information about the Audiology Patient Choice Act, visit www.18×18.org.
Source: ADA and CAA
Correction: An initial version of this news item cited the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) as the source. The source is ADA. HR apologizes for the error.