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: