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Oticon Medical: Ponto 4 - June 2019

Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act Introduced with Broad Bi-Partisan Support to Streamline Access to Hearing and Balance Care

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Lexington, Ky.—The Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) commends U.S. Representatives Tom Rice (R-SC), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Ann Kuster (D-NH), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Brad Schneider (D-IL), and Lisa Blunt-Rochester (D-DE) on the introduction of the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act of 2019 (H.R. 4056).

“Seniors who suffer from hearing conditions shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to see their preferred audiologist, said Representative Tom Rice (SC-7). “The Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act cuts through the red tape to help Medicare patients access quality, affordable care. I will continue to reach across the aisle to find straightforward solutions to health care problems.”

The Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act (H.R. 4056) can improve outcomes and reduce barriers to care by allowing Medicare beneficiaries to seek treatment directly from audiologists if they suspect they have a hearing or balance problem. The legislation will streamline Medicare coverage policies so that audiologists can provide the full range of Medicare-covered diagnostic and treatment services that correspond to their scope of practice. In addition, the legislation will reclassify audiologists as practitioners within the Medicare system, so that they can be deployed more effectively. 

“Hearing and balance disorders become more prevalent with age and, if left untreated, pose significant health, social, and financial risks,” said Ram Nileshwar, Au.D., ADA President. “ADA applauds Representative Rice and his colleagues for acting to remove impediments to the delivery of efficient, high-quality hearing and balance health care for millions of Medicare beneficiaries across the country.”

In addition to achieving broad-based bi-partisan support in Congress, the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act (H.R. 4056) has also been enthusiastically endorsed by leading audiology and consumer organizations including ADA, the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA).

“ADA staff and leaders are proud to work alongside our esteemed colleagues to advocate for better access to care for our patients and to ensure that audiologists are classified within the Medicare system in a manner that reflects their extensive training, education, and scope of practice,” said Dr. Nileshwar.

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