Statement on the Audiology Patient Choice Act (H.R. 2276, S. 2575)
The Academy strongly supports streamlining access to audiology services and being recognized and reimbursed for performing our full scope of practice under the Medicare program and across private payers. We view these two goals as critical in supporting the autonomous practice of audiologists.
Though the Audiology Patient Choice Act may help us to achieve some of these goals, there are aspects of the limited license physician status policy that must be better understood in order to mitigate potential risks to our members. These specific areas include what unintended consequences may arise in being included under the umbrella of physicians under Medicare, such as increased reporting requirements for physicians under Medicare’s new Quality Payment Program and expectations for adoption and usage of EHR, the potential impact on Medicare costs, and any subsequent effects on reimbursement for audiology services.
Advancing these two goals reflects an incremental approach that we feel is more politically feasible at this time given the current climate on Capitol Hill, communications with congressional staff, and discussions with other stakeholders, including other audiology professional organizations and hearing health care specialty societies. The Academy plans to convene these stakeholders to discuss a legislative approach reflective of these goals.