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Cochlear - Reimbursement - June 2022

Dr. Teresa Zwolan Joins Cochlear as the Director of Audiology Access & Standards of Care

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Lone Tree, Colorado (October 10, 2022) – Cochlear is pleased to announce that Dr. Teresa “Terry” Zwolan, Ph.D., CCC-A, will join Cochlear Americas as the Director of Audiology Access & Standards of Care. In this new role, Dr. Zwolan will lead new initiatives to improve access to audiology services and reimbursement specific to hearing implants. She will have oversight of the Cochlear Hearing Centers to incubate new audiology care models, assess innovations and develop evidence needed on clinical utility, patient experience and economic impact.

Dr. Zwolan is a respected leader in hearing healthcare recognized this year by American Cochlear Implant (ACI) Alliance with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions and impact in the field of cochlear implantation. She is Professor Emerita in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Michigan Medicine where she served as Director of the Cochlear Implant Program from 1990-2021. She serves as Director for the Institute for Cochlear Implant Training (ICIT) and is a co-founder and past member of the Board of Directors of the American Cochlear Implant (ACI) Alliance.  Most recently, Dr. Zwolan served as the Director of Audiology at Hearing First, a nonprofit dedicated to providing support for families seeking Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) outcomes for children with hearing loss and the professionals who serve them.  

“Dr. Zwolan has dedicated her research and clinical efforts throughout her career to improving access to cochlear implants for children and adults,” said Patricia Trautwein, Vice President, Market Access, Cochlear Americas. “We are privileged to have her experience providing direct clinical care, managing a large hearing implant program and educating fellow professionals on our team, leading efforts to overcome the barriers and establish cochlear implants as a standard of care for patients who may benefit from treatment.”

The number of people with hearing loss in the United States is anticipated to rise to over 73 million by 2060; the vast majority of these individuals, 62.4 million, will be adults aged 60 and older1. Hearing loss is a significant health concern and, if left untreated, can impact a person’s mental health, communication and overall quality of life 2.

Cochlear implants have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for nearly 40 years and are a proven medical treatment for those with moderate to profound hearing loss. When considering recently expanded criteria, including individuals with single-sided deafness or asymmetrical hearing loss (severe to profound hearing loss in the worse hearing ear), utilization rates are approximated to be 2.1 percent; that is most people who could be treated remain untreated 3. There are many barriers to access including lack of hearing health knowledge, the complexities of care delivery in the treatment of sensorineural hearing loss, and a limited number of audiologists offering cochlear implant services in the community4. 

About Cochlear

People have always been Cochlear’s inspiration, ever since Professor Graeme Clark set out to create the first multi-channel cochlear implant after seeing his father struggle with hearing loss. Since 1981, Cochlear has provided more than 700,000 devices in more than 180 countries, helping people of all ages around the world to hear. As the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, Cochlear connects people with life’s opportunities, and welcomes them to the world’s largest hearing implant community.

Cochlear has a global workforce of more than 4,500 people, with a passion for progress, who strive to meet the needs of people living with hearing loss. The company continually innovates to anticipate future needs, investing more than AUD$2 billion to date in research and development to push the boundaries of technology and help more people hear. www.cochlear.com/us

References:

  1. Goman AM, Reed NS, Lin FR. Addressing Estimated Hearing Loss in Adults in 2060. JAMA Otolaryngol Neck Surg. 2017;143(7):733-734. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2016.4642
  2. Livingston G, Huntley J, Sommerlad A, et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. Lancet. 2020 Aug 8;396(10248):413-446. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30367-6. Epub 2020 Jul 30. PMID: 32738937; PMCID: PMC7392084.
  3. Nassiri AM, Sorkin DL, Carlson ML. Current Estimates of Cochlear Implant Utilization in the United States. Otol Neurotol. 2022 Jun 1;43(5):e558-e562. doi: 10.1097/MAO.0000000000003513. Epub 2022 Mar 8. PMID: 35261379.
  4. Nassiri AM, Marinelli JP, Sorkin DL, Carlson ML. Barriers to Adult Cochlear Implant Care in the United States: An Analysis of Health Care Delivery. Semin Hear. 2021 Dec 9;42(4):311-320. doi: 10.1055/s-0041-1739281. PMID: 34912159; PMCID: PMC8660164.
AudiologyOnline - Careers - December 2022

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