Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Senate Releases Text of Medicare Hearing Benefits

AAA, ADA, and ASHA have been working collaboratively to help shape congressional legislation that could add new hearing benefits to Medicare.

The Senate Finance Committee recently released its version of the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376), which passed in the House of Representatives last month. This bill contains several provisions critical to audiologists. Like the House bill, the Senate language expands Medicare coverage of treatment services audiologists provide and reclassifies audiologists as “practitioners” under the Medicare statute. The Senate language also removes the physician order requirement that prevents Medicare beneficiaries from directly accessing services provided by audiologists, and provides greater clarity on the distinct roles and responsibilities of professions involved in the dispensing of hearing aids. Coverage of treatment services, removal of the physician order requirement, and “practitioner” status constitute the three core components of the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act (H.R. 1587/S. 1731), which AAA, ADA, and ASHA have been championing since 2019.

Wednesday, 01 December 2021

AuDacity 2021: Unleashed Ideas, Opportunities, and Action

ADA’s 2021 AuDacity Conference, Audiology Unleashed, delivered unmatched education and networking opportunities for more than 400 members and guests from October 25 – 27, 2021 in Portland, Oregon—and access to more than 30-hours of online content. The AuDacity program focused on the role of audiology services as public health services with featured sessions on hearing health equity, interprofessional collaboration, health literacy, managing comorbidities, and improving awareness and access to care.

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

FDA Proposed OTC Hearing Aid Rule Comment Period Closes January 18, 2022

On October 20, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a Proposed Rule Establishing Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids (Proposed Rule) with a 90-day deadline for comments (due by January 18, 2022).

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

U.S. House of Representatives Passes Build Back Better Act with Medicare Hearing Benefit

On November 19, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amended version of the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376) that includes several hearing-related provisions that would impact Medicare patients and audiologists, if ultimately enacted. The bill includes provisions that would add coverage of treatment services provided by audiologists and would reclassify audiologists as practitioners, two of the three provisions in the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act (MAASA). However, the Build Back Better Act does not include a provision to eliminate the physician order requirement for Medicare beneficiaries as a condition of coverage of audiology services.

Friday, 19 November 2021

House of Representatives passes bill adding new Medicare hearing benefits

As we previously highlighted, Congress is considering adding new hearing benefits to Medicare. The House of Representatives passed an amended version of the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376) that includes several hearing-related provisions that would impact Medicare patients and providers, if ultimately enacted. The bill would add coverage of treatment services provided by audiologists—for the first time in the program’s history—and reclassify audiologists as practitioners adding them to the list of providers eligible to furnish services via telehealth.

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