TOGETHER, LET’S MAKE HEARING AND BALANCE CARE MORE AVAILABLE TO ALL.
We’d love to have your support for the proposed Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act (MAASA)! This groundbreaking bipartisan legislation in Congress could make it easier for community members to access the quality hearing care they need, and you can help.
DID YOU KNOW?
An estimated one-third of adults over age 65 live with disabling hearing loss, per the World Health Organization, yet only a fraction of those who could benefit from solutions such as hearing aids actually use them.
DOES LACK OF ACCESS PLAY A ROLE IN SOME CASES?
Possibly. The good news is that MAASA — which builds on a prior proposal, the Audiology Patient Choice Act, considered in 2018 — may open needed hearing and balance evaluation and treatment to more people nationwide, helping folks improve not only their communication and vestibular health but overall wellness and quality of life. The proposal involves two identical bills in the House and Senate — H.R. 4056 and S. 2446, respectively. In a joint statement from Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s office, Republican Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) noted, “Seniors who suffer from hearing conditions shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to see their preferred audiologist. [MAASA] cuts through the red tape to help Medicare patients access quality, affordable care.” Specifically, the proposed law:
- Facilitates direct access for audiology services, eliminating the requirement for a physician order
- Allows audiologists to be paid for all services — including treatment — rather than just diagnostics
- Changes the status of audiologists within Medicare from “supplier” to “practitioner”
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Typically anyone can seek an audiologist’s care without a physician order, but such an order is required for Medicare Part B participants. This creates a potential barrier for people 65 and older who need professional hearing and balance help. If enacted, the legislation would remove this hurdle, empowering patients with more choice in finding and selecting qualified, licensed professionals for Medicare-covered audiology services. Medicare Part B participants would be able to walk through our doors just as their privately insured peers — and those with Medicare Advantage or VA benefits — can.
YOU CAN HELP WIDEN ACCESS TO HEARING CARE FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES BY SUPPORTING THIS IMPORTANT LEGISLATION.
The Academy of Doctors of Audiology’s letter campaign makes it quick and easy to make your voice heard with just a few clicks on your keyboard. So don’t wait. Please join us in this critical effort today!