By: Lisa Christensen, Au.D.
As many of you are already aware, osseointegrated hearing implants stand a great risk of losing Medicare reimbursement coverage.
CMS proposed a ruling on July 2nd to modify the existing regulation §411.15(d)(1). The intent is to specify that their current hearing aid exclusion encompasses all types of air conduction and bone conduction hearing aids. If the proposed ruling stands, osseointegrated implants would fall into the hearing aid exclusion – effectively eliminating reimbursement coverage of these devices for Medicare recipients. CMS states that all of these devices function just like hearing aids and it is why they want to add this particular device to their exclusion policy. As audiologists, we know osseointegrated implants do not function like hearing aids and are highly beneficial to many children and adults, and the only viable option for many.
The most important responsibility we have as audiologists is to advocate for our profession and for the patients we all serve. Submitting your comments to CMS to oppose this rule is vital. I urge you to join me in submitting comments to CMS.
There are only 2 days left to submit your comments so please don’t delay. It is easy and only takes a few minutes. Form letters are not accepted by CMS so please tell CMS in your own words how osseointegrated implants have positively impacted your patients, how these devices are not just like hearing aids, and that hearing healthcare is important to everyone.
Please visit helpnowhearalways.com for more information to consider when submitting your comments to CMS.
Thank you for joining me in submitting comments to CMS. Our patients are counting on you!
Lisa Christensen, Au.D.