Legislation Introduced in Senate to Improve Medicare Patient Access to Audiologists

September 10, 2019

The Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act of 2019 (S. 2446) was introduced yesterday by U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rand Paul (R-KY) following introduction of identical legislation (H.R. 4056) in the House earlier this year. ASHA is collaborating with the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) to move this critical legislation forward in Congress.

Contact your members of Congress today and ask them to cosponsor the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act of 2019 (H.R. 4056/S. 2446). 

Background

The Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act of 2019 (H.R. 4056/S. 2446) will remove unnecessary barriers, allowing patients to receive appropriate, timely, and cost-effective audiologic care. Currently, Medicare requires a physician order for patients to see an audiologist—and covers only diagnostic services provided by the audiologist without allowing for follow-up treatment or a plan of care. This legislation can improve outcomes for beneficiaries by allowing direct access to audiologic services and streamlining Medicare coverage policies so that audiologists can provide the full range of diagnostic and treatment services covered by Medicare that correspond to their scope of practice. The legislation will also reclassify audiologists as practitioners, which is consistent with the way Medicare recognizes other nonphysician providers, such as clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, and advanced practice registered nurses.

Questions?

Contact Jerry White, ASHA’s director of federal affairs, health care, at jwhite@asha.org.


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