PRESS AND ADVOCACY BRIEFING: Why Medicare Needs to Cover Hearing Aids and Audiology Services

2016-06-23T07:52:00+00:00June 23rd, 2016|Letters 114th|

   

WHO:

  • Rep. Debbie Dingell (D – MI)
  • Rep Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
  • Rep Jim McDermott (D-WA)
  • Frank R. Lin, M.D., Ph.D, Co-Author, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Report, Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability
  • Max Richtman, President/CEO, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
  • Judith Stein, J.D., Executive Director, Center for Medicare Advocacy

WHAT: 

Experts and policy-makers will address the urgent need to update Medicare coverage to reflect the serious health issues that stem from hearing loss. Specific attention will be paid to Rep. Debbie Dingell’s (D-MI) bill, the Medicare Hearing Aid Coverage Act of 2015 (H.R. 1653), which would allow Medicare to provide coverage for hearing aids.

WHEN: 

Thursday, June 23, 2016, 12:00 p.m. ET – 12:45 p.m. ET 

Listen to the audio recording.

WHY: 

In June 2016 a Report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that hearing loss is a public health priority requiring national attention.

Hearing loss affects nearly 30 million Americans, but only 1 in 5 people diagnosed with hearing issues have hearing aids – in large part because Medicare currently excludes coverage for hearing aids and related audiology services.  Even mild hearing loss has been shown to double the risk of dementia. Further, hearing loss is directly related to a variety of cognitive impairments, isolation, depression, and increased risk for falls.

Policymakers must recognize and respond to these very significant consequences of hearing loss by advancing Medicare coverage for audiology care.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Report
Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability
http://nationalacademies.org/hmd/reports/2016/Hearing-Health-Care-for-Adults.aspx

Additional resources from The Center for Medicare Advocacy
https://cc.readytalk.com/registration/#/?meeting=sfxfevabid3j&campaign=cslq7e4xvr5g http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/time-for-medicare-to-cover-audiology-care
http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/rep-dingell-calls-for-medicare-coverage-of-hearing-aids

Additional resources from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Foundation
The Case for Expanding Medicare/Hearing Loss: The Economic, Social and Medical Factors Impacting Healthy Aging (July 2015)
http://www.ncpssmfoundation.org/Portals/0/case-for-expanding-medicare.pdf

INTERVIEWS: 

Speakers will be available to answer questions on the briefing call. One-on-one interviews are available upon request

 

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Contact:

Pamela Causey, NCPSSM Director of Communications
causeyp@ncpssm.org
202-216-8378

Kim Wright, NCPSSM Asst. Director of Communications
wrightk@ncpssm.org
202-216-8414


The Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc.
, established in 1986, is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan law organization that provides education, advocacy and legal assistance to help older people and people with disabilities obtain fair access to Medicare and quality health care. The Center focuses on the needs of Medicare beneficiaries, people with chronic conditions, and those in need of long-term care. The organization is involved in writing, education, and advocacy activities of importance to Medicare beneficiaries nationwide. The Center is headquartered in Connecticut and Washington, DC, with offices throughout the country.

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, acts in the interests of its membership through advocacy, education, services, grassroots efforts and the leadership of the Board of Directors and professional staff. The work of the National Committee is directed toward developing better-informed citizens and voters.