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Introducing the Baha® Lend an Ear Program

Mirelis Moreno

February 17, 2020
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Interview with Mirelis Moreno, Product Manager Cochlear™ Baha® Systems regarding the new Baha Lend an Ear Program.

 

AudiologyOnline: What is the Lend an Ear Program? 

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Mirelis Moreno: Cochlear recognizes the importance of providing early access to sound to promote optimal speech and language learning. Our new Baha® Lend an Ear program will allow quick access to bone conduction treatment for pediatric candidates while waiting on insurance approval. 

The CochlearTM Lend an Ear program is unique to Cochlear and was designed to allow clinicians to ensure their pediatric patients get earlier access to sound through a non-surgical bone conduction solution. This early access to sound helps lay the foundation for language and social development.

AudiologyOnline: How does the Lend an Ear program work?

Mirelis Moreno: First, the clinician identifies a candidate and introduces the program to the family/caregiver. The family then reads the program details, agrees and opts in to the program. The clinician submits the complete order and the Cochlear reimbursement team begins the eligibility and benefits check. 

Once benefit details are reviewed with the family and consent to proceed is received, the loaned equipment is shipped. After insurance approval is obtained, the ownership of the equipment is converted to the patient and all remaining components to complete the full order are shipped.

AudiologyOnline: Who can participate in the Lend an Ear program?

Mirelis Moreno: Designed with pediatric patients in mind, the Lend an Ear program may provide pediatric patients age 12 and under with earlier access to sound by expediting the shipment of an appropriately-fit Baha 5 Sound Processor while they wait for insurance approval. The ownership of the processor will be converted to the patient.

AudiologyOnline: You mentioned “the ownership of the processor will be converted to the patient or returned to Cochlear” -  what do you mean by that? 

Mirelis Moreno: This program is a “loan to own” concept, where the sound processor will be set up as a loaner with the expectation that once the insurance approval is received, it will be converted to the patient’s ownership. Once we obtain insurance approval, the patient’s journey will be simplified with no further need for equipment exchanges or fitting appointments.

Essentially, all the clinic has to do is submit a complete order including supporting documents and Cochlear will take care of the rest!

AudiologyOnline: What if insurance denies the request?

Mirelis Moreno: In the event an insurance denial is received, Cochlear will appeal the denial on behalf of the patient. In the unlikely event a denial cannot be overturned, the family/caregiver will have the option to pay a discounted self-pay rate or return the equipment at no cost.

AudiologyOnline: What happens if a patient breaks or loses the sound processor prior to receiving authorization?

Mirelis Moreno: As an added benefit, patients can use warranty services that include processor repair and access to one-time theft and loss coverage while insurance is pending. Once insurance approval is received and the conversion of ownership occurs, the warranty dates are renewed and insurance is billed.

AudiologyOnline: What more can you tell us about the program? 

Mirelis Moreno: To allow patients to meet their hearing needs and achieve optimal hearing performance, any of the sound processors from the Baha 5 portfolio may be ordered along with their choice of a non-surgical wearing option (Softband or SoundArc). To start a patient’s participation in the Lend an Ear program, the clinician will need to place a reimbursement order with Cochlear’s reimbursement and insurance services.

AudiologyOnline: What are the steps for clinicians to kick start the program? 

Mirelis Moreno: To initiate the Lend and Ear program, follow these five easy steps: 

  • Discuss the program with the patient - so they have a thorough understanding of how it works 
  • Fill out the order form with the patient’s parent or guardian – that way they can easily customize their order depending on what suits their child best 
  • Gather all the documentation needed - a detailed Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN), audiogram or ABR performed within the last year, additional clinical notes from Audiologist or ENT, any payer specific prior authorization request form (PAR) as requested and the Cochlear Baha System Order Form 
  • Have the patient’s parent or guardian complete and sign the insurance intake form, assignment of benefits and program acknowledgment form 
  • Send all documents to ProCare@cochlear.com

AudiologyOnline: How can this program benefit clinicians and patients? 

Mirelis Moreno: Here are a few key benefits:

  • Insurance approval times vary and can be lengthy. The Lend an Ear program provides patients with early access to sound while waiting on insurance authorization.
  • Once the patient receives their Baha 5 Sound Processor and Softband or SoundArc there may not be a need for exchange or additional trips to the audiologist – the technology is theirs to keep.
  • The Baha 5 Sound Processor offers a range of power options from 45 dB SNHL* up to 65 dB SNHL*, and all feature our most advanced sound processing technology, wireless connectivity and smartphone compatibility.**

If you have questions please reach out to ProCare@cochlear.com

© Cochlear Limited 2020. All rights reserved. Hear now. And always and other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of Cochlear Limited or Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions AB. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. 

Views expressed are those of the individual. Consult your hearing health provider to determine if you are a candidate for Cochlear technology. Please seek advice from your health professional about treatments for hearing loss. Outcomes may vary, and your health professional will advise you about the factors which could affect your outcome. Always read the instructions for use. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative for product information.

*SNHL means Sensorineural Hearing level

**For compatibility information visit: www.Cochlear.com/compatibility

In the United States and Canada, the placement of a bone-anchored implant is contraindicated in children below the age of 5.

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mirelis moreno

Mirelis Moreno

Mirelis Moreno is the Product Manager for Cochlear™ Baha® Systems at Cochlear Americas.  Mirelis joined Cochlear in 2016 and has more than seven years of product marketing, product analysis, brand management and sales experience, as well as an MBA in Marketing from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico.