audiology medicare telehealth

AAA and ADA Urge CMS to Lift Medicare Physician Order Requirement and Allow Audiologists to Provide Services via Telehealth

The American Academy of Audiology (AAA) and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) have both submitted letters to CMS this week, urging them to “exercise their regulatory authority to waive the physician order requirement currently required before a Medicare beneficiary may access the services of an audiologist”.

In addition, both organizations have requested that audiologists be added to the list of providers able to reach beneficiaries via telehealth.

According to AAA, “The current healthcare crisis is placing seniors in increased isolation as many senior living facilities have enforced a lockdown and the ability to hear and communicate are essential now more than ever”.

“…Current Medicare Part B policy requires beneficiaries to obtain a physician order before seeing an audiologist and also prohibits audiologists from providing services via telehealth. These requirements are inconsistent with evidence-based practices in the delivery and efficiency of care. The physician order requirement is unique to the Medicare Part B program only, even though audiologists are responsible for determining medical necessity. The Department of Defense, the Veterans Health Administration, and Federal Employees Health Benefit system plans do not require a physician order for beneficiary access to covered audiology services. Most private insurance plans and Medicare Advantage plans similarly allow direct access to audiologist services.” 

–ADA Letter to CMS, March 27, 2020

The full statements from both AAA and ADA can be viewed at the links below:

 


1 Comment

  1. I work at an ENT facility and perform HA fittings and adjustments for brain functional improvements (cognitive) routinely with pre-planned visits for follow up care in anticipation of improved cognitive actions. i am able to monitor such changes with close observations changes only, and patient participation .
    I am much better placed to understand patient reactions and provide guidance better than any method like remote control through video channeling.. I will never encourage the practice of readjusting of hearing aids with remote communication as it is only a very partial connection and guesswork. I agree it is better than doing nothing and dashing the hopes of hearing aid patients who are ready to play along with some guidance.
    Such a practice will only help in billing the state for unproven expenses. An office intervention is so much better and one can experience more positive results.
    sincerely,
    Anjan Muhury
    HAD
    HA 3723.(CA)
    Presenter HEAL conferences (Italy)

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