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.