News Archive

Senators Warren and Paul Introduce The Audiology Patient Choice Act in U.S. Senate

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 — The Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) is excited to report that Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) have introduced S.2575, the Audiology Patient Choice Act, in the Senate. ADA commends them for their leadership in introducing this important legislation, which will improve the delivery of hearing and balance services for millions of Medicare beneficiaries while eliminating unnecessary duplicative services and waste.

“The Audiology Patient Choice Act, if enacted, will bring Medicare in line with current standards of care and evidence-based practices,” said ADA President, Alicia Spoor, Au.D. “I applaud Senators Warren and Paul for their commitment to ensure that Medicare patients have streamlined access to safe, efficient audiologic care—and the same opportunity to choose from among all qualified providers as the rest of America enjoys.”

The Audiology Patient Choice Act will remove existing barriers to care for millions of Americans by allowing Medicare Part B patients with a suspected hearing or balance problem to go directly to the audiologist, without obtaining an order from an outside provider, such as a medical doctor or nurse practitioner. It will allow patients their choice of qualified providers for Medicare-covered audiologic services, and it will help address the medical doctor workforce shortage confronting our country while helping to meet the increasing demand for health care services by the growing Medicare population.

"This bill will make a life changing difference for the millions of Americans who experience hearing loss but can't access the care they need because of archaic regulations," said Senator Warren. "I'm glad to work with Senator Paul on this common sense step to bring down costs for our seniors."

The practice of audiology has evolved tremendously over the past 50 years. Medicare Part B has simply not kept pace with these changes. The Audiology Patient Choice Act will fix this problem and foster exceptional patient outcomes in manner that is fiscally responsible and functionally sustainable.

"Our legislation gets government out of the decision-making process so Americans can seek treatment from audiologists more quickly, easily, and affordably. It proves Congress can come together across the aisle to find solutions to improve our health care system," said Senator Paul.

Thanks to ADA members and stakeholders for your steadfast advocacy efforts! We are excited to see S.2575, the Audiology Patient Choice Act, take this crucial step forward with its introduction in the Senate. However, as historic as it is, now we will begin the real work together to see the bill move advance in the 115th Congress. Please consider renewing your commitment to the APCA by donating to the ADA Advocacy Fund at the link below and by using the Congressional Connect link to reach your legislators.

More information will be forthcoming about steps you can take to help educate members of Congress about this important legislation!

Stephanie Czuhajewski, CAE
Executive Director
446 E. High St, Suite 10
Lexington, KY 40507