She is fighting for you! On November 14, 2019 our Executive Director, Dr. Anne Orsene, along with 175 other Audiologists from across the country, stormed Capitol Hill to gain support for the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act of 2019 (H.R. 2276, S.2575).
This act, introduced by Rep. Tom Rice, [R-SC-7], would enhance the Medicare benefit by providing beneficiaries critical direct access to both diagnostic and rehabilitative services provided by an Audiologist. It would remove unnecessary barriers, allowing patients to receive appropriate, timely, and cost-effective care. The goal of Lobby Day was to secure co- sponsors to help push this act forward.
Dr. Orsene, along with several other Audiologists from New York, met with five legislators and their staff to educate them on how this act would benefit Medicare recipients. Our NY team was extremely proud to have secured a co-sponsor for the act, Rep.Max Rose ,of StatenIsland.
Passage of the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act would dramatically improve audiology care for Medicare recipients. It would enable them to have their choice of a qualified audiologist and would eliminate the need for a physician order to receive coverage of medically necessary audiology and vestibular services. It would also allow for Medicare coverage of treatment services such as vestibular rehabilitation, cerumen removal, and aural rehabilitation provided by audiologists.
Medicare’s archaic referral requirements must be modernized to allow seniors direct access to efficient, effective care. All other federal programs as well as Medicare Advantage plans and most private health insurance plans already allow direct access to audiologists without first requiring a physician referral. Medicare patients should have the right to choose among all recognized providers for all Medicare-covered services as this comprises the majority of hearing health issues for the older adult population.
As a result of Lobby Day, 16 new co-sponsors were secured and the act now has 56 co-sponsors and has bipartisan support in the House and Senate. Rest assured that HES will continue to fight for the rights of Medicare patients until this act is passed and will push forward to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries with a hearing or balance disorder receive timely treatment from an Audiologist.
On September 19th, 2019 Hearing Evaluation Services of Buffalo celebrated the 10 year anniversary of our collaboration with Dr. Lixen Zhang’s Dizziness, Balance and Tinnitus Center at DENT Neurologic Institute. Since this partnership, DENT, Hearing Evaluation Services and Susan Bennett’s Rehabilitation Institute have helped thousands of patients receive treatment and solutions to help with these debilitating disorders.
We are proud to be part of this amazing interdisciplinary team that Dr. Zhang has assembled and look forward to working with DENT as their program continues to grow.
With insurance renewal season underway, we want to remind you that we have an on-staff Insurance Specialist, Valerie Schmidt, available during office hours to answer any and all questions that you may have about your hearing health coverage. This is yet another unique service offered at Hearing Evaluation Services. Here are a few important reminders to consider when renewing your insurance:
Flex dollars can be used for hearing aids. Whether you have flex dollars to spend before the end of the year, or if you are factoring in flex dollars with your new program…consider using it for better hearing.
Discounted hearing aid programs through your insurance are not the same as an insurance benefit. We also have in-house programs that many find even better than what some third party companies offer.
Your Audiologists will review all of your options at your appointment. Insurance typically covers baseline hearing tests.
The level of coverage or benefits for hearing devices depend on the insurance company, and the specific levels of benefits within that company.
To connect with our Insurance Specialist, Valerie Schmidt, call (716) 544-6210 or visit our “Ask the Insurance Specialist” page through our website at hesofbuffalo.org.
Last month, Hearing Evaluation Services of Buffalo launched three new patient stories for our ongoing television campaign. Additionally, we have a fourth commercial that will be launching later this month that highlights the opportunity to demo hearing devices before you commit to a purchase. We would like to thank Bruce, Gregg and Katie for sharing their stories of how it’s Good to Hear.
From the corporate world, to the joy of music and life as an athlete, each story brought a unique perspective on how hearing loss can affect any one at any time. The commercials also feature three Doctors of Audiology from our practice; Dr. Anne Orsene, Dr. Jill Bernstein, and Dr. Nicole Ball. Commercials can be seen locally on Channel 2 and Channel 7, as well as on our YouTube page and website.
If you are interested in participating in a future television commercial, and would love to share your success story, please let one of our Patient Care Coordinators or Audiologists know at your next appointment. You could be the next star!
Dr. Pleban received her B.S. in Communicative Disorders and Sciences from SUNY Geneseo in 2003 and her Doctorate in Audiology from the University at Buffalo in 2007. She specializes in working with adult and pediatric populations and has extensive expertise in audiometric assessments, hearing aid fittings, and aural rehabilitation.
Dr. Pleban focuses on patient counseling, education and quality of life improvements and joins HES after practicing at Ken-Ton Hearing. In addition to seeing patients at the Orchard Park location, she also sees patients at Fox Run and has seen community residents for hearing screenings at the Orchard Park Senior Center. As a resident of Orchard Park, Dr. Pleban looks forward to immersing herself as a hearing health advocate in her local community.
In addition to her work at HES, Dr. Pleban is the Board President for the not-for-profit after school program, Just for Kids, and is a member of the American Academy of Audiology.
Hearing Evaluation Services is one of the largest freestanding, non-profit audiology practices in the country with locations in Amherst, Williamsville, Orchard Park and Tonawanda. HES offers evaluations, treatments, and solutions for those with hearing loss, balance disorders, and tinnitus. Since its inception in 1981, HES has upheld the highest standards of ethics and aims to not only treat but to educate individuals about the impacts of untreated hearing loss including cognitive decline, social isolation and depression. To learn more about HES, visit www.HESofBuffalo.org.