How would you feel if every time you needed to get your eyes checked at the optometrist, you had to ask for written order from your physician?
Well, that’s exactly how my profession works once you reach the age of 65.
Somehow, Audiology got lost in the Medicare Part B shuffle. Every time anyone with Medicare Part B insurance makes an appointment for a change in their hearing, dizziness or any medical reason, Medicare will not accept the claim without a written doctor’s order. Birth to 64, no problem because door is open and you can walk right in.
Audiologists are trained to diagnose and treat hearing and balance disorders. Sadly, in our practice we do not work to our fullest scope because we cannot get reimbursed for what we are trained and licensed to do. I’m talking about the same procedures that Medicare currently reimburses other professionals to do.
I lobbied in Washington last week. It was out of my comfort zone but what a great experience. And I’ll do it again if I have to. Most of the senators and representatives I talked to were a bit surprised to find out that this is even an issue. Because we see so many seniors, this bill is important. And with the concern of a future physician shortage, easy access to services is what we need.
It must be a good idea if there is bipartisan support. Rand Paul and Elizabeth Warren are sponsoring the senate bill.
It would be nice to walk in to a provider of your choice, be seen for one appointment and walk out taken care of, without getting referred to another professional. Please back the act.
Congressional Connect - 18x18.org
The Official Website of H.R. 2276/S. 2575, the Audiology Patient Choice Act