Amplifying Access: Audiology Organizations Unite to Advance Medicare Audiology Access Legislation

audiology medicare legislation
March 22, 2024

AAA President Ballachanda poses with ASHA President Tena McNamara.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On March 20, American Academy of Audiology (AAA) President Bopanna Ballachanda, PhD, joined forces with the presidents of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) on Capitol Hill to advocate for audiologists and their patients.

Their focus was on promoting the Medicare Audiology Access Improvement Act (MAAIA) to various members of Congress.

MAAIA Seeks to Improve Access to Care

The MAAIA aims to reclassify audiologists from “suppliers” to “practitioners,” allowing them to provide and receive reimbursement for treatment services without requiring a physician referral. Additionally, the legislation seeks to include audiologists as practitioners in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), streamlining the process for Medicare beneficiaries to access audiological care.

Supported by bipartisan backing, the MAAIA has garnered endorsements from organizations such as the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC), the Hearing Industries Association (HIA), and the Vestibular Disorders Association (VeDA).

President Ballachanda and ADA President Jason Leyendecker explain MAAIA to Congressional staff.

The Academy, ASHA, and ADA have been actively collaborating to advance this legislation, which aims to modernize how Medicare addresses audiology.

Key updates include removing the pre-treatment order requirement for Medicare Part B coverage, allowing beneficiaries direct access to audiologists for hearing and balance concerns, and enabling reimbursement for audiologists’ services within their licensed scope of practice through telehealth.


Source: AAA

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