Take action by completing two of the three President’s Challenges within minutes!
Hello, Members of the Academy,
I can’t wait to tell you about the first President’s Challenge—Advocacy!
It should come as no surprise that there is nothing more important to audiology than achieving the successful passage of the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act or H.R. 1587/S. 1731. This is a collaborative effort with both Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and we are gaining fantastic traction. The bill has been introduced in both the House and the Senate – bill numbers H.R. 1587 / S. 1731.
Why is this bill so important?
First, it would reclassify audiologists as practitioners. Medicare statute has not been updated since audiologists were put in as suppliers and we need this reclassification so that audiologists can be recognized fully for our scope of practice and be reimbursed accordingly, including for provision of care by telehealth.
Second, audiologists would be able to provide and be reimbursed for both diagnostic and treatment services.
Finally, it would eliminate the need for a physician order under Medicare and would give direct beneficiary access to audiology services, the same access that individuals with commercial insurance, Advantage plans, VA benefits, and govt plans already have. This is Medicare modernization—NOT expanding our scope.
We have a unified Democratic Congress that is committed to modernizing Medicare, and we have bipartisan support for our bill. We are more optimistic than ever before that this bill will pass! It is very possible that the language could be picked up and attached to “must-pass” legislation, such as a package that includes expanding hearing coverage to Medicare beneficiaries.
Any decisions could move very quickly, so it’s imperative that our legislators hear our voices NOW. On September 28, the Academy hosted our first Virtual Capitol Hill Day where volunteers met with dozens of legislative offices to advocate for our profession. I had the opportunity to talk with three of my Ohio congressmen to tell them why H.R. 1587/S. 1731 must pass… Now it’s your turn!
This month’s President’s Challenge is to do your part by engaging in at least one specific activity to advance our advocacy Initiative.
By November 5, 2021…
- Send a letter to your congressperson by going to the Academy’s Legislative Action Center,
- Arrange a virtual or in-person visit with your congressperson’s office to explain why the passage of H.R. 1587/S. 1731 matters to you and your patients, or
- Make a donation to the Political Action Committee (suggested amount of $50 and up).
Feeling really inspired? Complete all three like me!
Make sure to let the Academy know how you’ve participated in the challenge by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll be sharing your stories of how you’ve made a difference for our profession on our website and social media, and you’ll receive a certificate in the mail to show your patients how much you care about their ability to access the care they need.
Thanks in advance… now get out there and take on the challenge!
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