ASHA Advocate: October 20, 2022

October 20, 2022

The Top Line

Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids entered the market this past Monday and have transformed the hearing health landscape by creating a new regulatory class of hearing aids. ASHA has developed a comprehensive OTC Hearing Aid Toolkit designed to help members navigate this new landscape. Please join us next Monday, October 24, for a special Audiology Town Hall on how OTC hearing aids may impact you.


Bill to Mitigate Medicare Payment Cuts Introduced

Representatives Ami Bera (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon (R-IN) have introduced the Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2022 (H.R. 8800), which would significantly reduce cuts to Medicare Part B reimbursement scheduled to be implemented next year. The bill, if enacted into law, would eliminate almost half of the 10% payment reductions slated for 2023 resulting from changes in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule [PDF] and scheduled implementation of other statutory budget control mechanisms. ASHA led a coalition [PDF] of impacted stakeholders recognizing Congressmen Bera and Bucshon for introducing the bill and urging its enactment before year’s end. Ask members of Congress to cosponsor this bill and stop these cuts entirely.

Take Action

Senators Give Medicare Beneficiaries Direct Access to Audiology Services

Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rand Paul (R-KY), sponsors of the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act (S. 1731), have urged removal of the requirement that forces Medicare beneficiaries to obtain a physician order before obtaining services from an audiologist. In a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [PDF], the key policymakers asked CMS to “use existing authority to fully eliminate the physician order requirement to help improve access to critical hearing health care services.” Take action now to support S. 1731, which would remove the order requirement and expand Medicare’s coverage of treatment services provided by audiologists.

Contact Your Legislators

Working for You

  • ASHA submitted comments [PDF] on the proposed changes to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act Nondiscrimination in Health Care. ASHA supported provisions to ensure effective communication for individuals with disabilities, language access for those with limited English proficiency, equal access on the basis of sex, and nondiscrimination in health insurance design and telehealth services.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact (ASLP-IC) Commission and National Council of State Boards of Examiners (NCSB) to allow NCSB to provide Secretariat services for the ASLP-IC Commission.
  • The federal COVID-19 public health emergency has been extended to January 11, 2023.
  • Reps. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) and Greg Stanton (D-AZ) recently cosponsored the IDEA Full Funding Act (H.R. 5984), bringing the total number of cosponsors to 135.
  • Sens. Mazie Horono (D-HI) and John Hickenlooper (D-CO) cosponsored the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (S.4182), bringing the total number of cosponsors to 35.


Meet Jerry White, ASHA's director of federal and political affairs. Recognized by The Hill as a top lobbyist in 2021, Jerry leads ASHA's legislative efforts with Congress. Jerry joined ASHA in May of 2019 and shared that one of the reasons he came to ASHA was because his son was diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech and has benefitted from speech, language, and swallowing services provided by ASHA SLPs. We're so thankful to have Jerry on our team!

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