Letter Endorsing the Audiology Patient Choice Act of 2018

2018-04-18T15:26:47+00:00April 13th, 2018|Letters 115th|

April 13, 2018

The Honorable Elizabeth Warren
United States Senate
Washington DC 20510

The Honorable Rand Paul
United States Senate
Washington DC 20510

Dear Senator Warren and Senator Paul:

On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I am writing to endorse S. 2575, the “Audiology Patient Choice Act of 2018,” which would expand access to hearing health care services for Medicare beneficiaries.

Medicare covers a range of hearing health services that audiologists are trained and licensed to perform.  These include hearing and balance assessments, ear wax removal, and aural and vestibular rehabilitation services designed to help improve speech communication and mobility. Your legislation implements an important recommendation from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine by allowing audiologists to receive Medicare reimbursement for auditory rehabilitation services.  Under current law, Medicare only pays audiologists for a narrow set of services and only if the patient has an order from a physician or nurse practitioner.

The National Committee also supports legislation to provide Medicare coverage of hearing aids.

It is estimated that 70 percent of Americans between age 65 and 84 with hearing loss are not using hearing aids because Medicare does not cover them and paying for the devices out-of-pocket is expensive.  Until that happens, seniors need access to a full range of hearing and balance health care services and your bill helps by providing Medicare coverage for services when they are provided by licensed audiologists.  For that reason, the National Committee supports the “Audiology Patient Choice Act,” and we look forward to working with you towards enactment of this needed legislation.

Sincerely,

Max Richtman
President and CEO