The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first telehealth option to program cochlear implants remotely. The telemedicine platform is approved for follow-up programming sessions for the Nucleus Cochlear Implant System. Patients must have six months of experience with their cochlear implant and be comfortable with the programming process.
Audiologists are required to comply with all relevant state laws and confirm with private payers on reimbursement for telepractice services. The FDA ruling does not dictate an insurance company's payment policy nor does it change state laws related to telepractice. In addition, the policy does not circumvent the Medicare statutory exclusion for the coverage of audiology services.
For additional information on the FDA ruling, contact Ingrida Lusis, ASHA's director of federal and political advocacy, at email@example.com.