Cochlear Americas has a group of reimbursement experts, which make up the Otologic Management Services (OMS) team. OMS is a dedicated team of reimbursement specialists who are available, at no-cost, to help healthcare providers and candidates obtain the necessary insurance approval or to support appeals where coverage has been denied for Cochlear’s Nucleus® Cochlear Implants or Baha® Systems for medically qualified candidates. Access OMS’s support to help your patients obtain approval for coverage of their hearing implants from their health plan.
The cochlear implant journey doesn’t stop at surgery.
Hearing therapy, or rehabilitation, may be an important component for successful hearing outcomes. As clinicians, you are instrumental in getting your patients motivated and equipped with the appropriate training resources to improve listening skills and communication strategies to drive desired outcomes.
On top of that, you are managing the ever-growing demands of your practice and patient population. Finding sufficient time to train each newly activated CI patient on auditory skills may be difficult.
Clinician-guided home practice consolidates and supplements the work done in the clinic and plays a vital role in the post-implant process. It enables the patient to practice within their own listening environment, rather than the controlled environmental conditions within the clinic. Home-based practice tools also allow patients the opportunity to become more proficient at listening to their most frequent communication partners.
Beginning early October 2019, all adult cochlear implant system and upgrade kits will include Cochlear’s Adult Home-Based Hearing Therapy Manual. A clinician’s version of the manual can be ordered directly from your Cochlear representative or can be downloaded and printed online. This manual will guide you in establishing an appropriate training level for each of your newly activated CI patients and help to better manage time spent on training of auditory skills.
The recipient manual includes a Hearing Therapy Exercise Plan, which can be completed by the clinician and the recipient for in-home training use. Download and print a copy of the recipient manual for your use now.
We developed these to provide hands-on hearing therapy materials that are adaptable, covering a range of auditory abilities and designed to supplement the work done in the clinic, not to replace it.
To learn more about professional rehabilitation resources please visit our rehabilitation resources website.
With the recent COVID-19 events across the world, many are using homes as offices or classrooms.
Those experiencing hearing loss or who are cochlear implant recipients may be seeking guidance on the best way to communicate in this virtual space. They are likely considering these things: Will I be able to hear the speaker, follow along with the team meeting or present with confidence?
Here are some suggestions that may help set the stage for your patients’ success in a virtual environment:
Utilize the computer camera
Use the camera for identifying who is speaking during a group conversation. Seeing body language gives additional context to the conversation. Employing video removes much of the guesswork and allows focused attention on the conversation at hand.
Audio environment is another important factor for success in a virtual workplace. A noisy meeting environment increases listening processing (and fatigue), so finding a quiet office or section of the home where distractions, such as background tv, are mitigated should be considered.
Also, encourage your patients to advocate for themselves. For example, if on a call with one or more people, they can ask all others to mute themselves when they are not talking. This helps to focus on the speaker’s voice without competing sounds drowning out the conversation. It also may lessen exhaustion.
Have an agenda, presentation materials and meeting invite list
Having an agenda will give more context about what is being discussed. A clear understanding of the meeting’s goals and objectives can keep the meeting on topic and allow for appropriately- timed contribution. Asking for the presentation materials ahead of time also gives your patients a chance to prepare and have context of the upcoming discussion. Lastly, understanding who has been invited to the meeting prior to the call can signal whose voices may be heard.
When starting on a new project/account or when communicating with a new group of people, transparency regarding hearing loss is important. Your patients can delineate that they can communicate well if able to see, but may on occasion ask for repetition or clarification.
This can break the ice and create the space to collaborate. The team can become comfortable with the candidness and embrace the supportive atmosphere. They too may feel welcome to raise any issues they may anticipate, such as a kid potentially running into the room during the call.
As well as utilizing video calls, your patients can make the most of device technology such as direct streaming to your Cochlear™ Nucleus® 7 Sound Processor or use the Cochlear Wireless Phone Clip. Further, chat features on the video call or instant messaging programs can be beneficial when asking for clarification from an internal colleague.
When the meeting is winding down, your patient can suggest that the group define action items. This can be an opportunity to state your responsibilities as understood, or to bring up those clarifying points if there wasn’t an opportunity to do so earlier.
Finally, asking for a copy of the meeting notes, either in formal format within a company folder or even an email, can be a beneficial recap of the main points and action items.
Pre-planning virtual collaborations can be key for successful interactions online.