Have You Heard? (December 2015)

ADA 2015 Convention Featured Capital Ideas and AuDvocacy
The ADA 2015 Convention, “Capital Ideas,” held November 12-15 at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. brought together leading audiology and hearing industry thought leaders from around the globe. The venue was perfect for networking and education—and also provided the perfect backdrop for ADA’s Lobby Day! Even before a single session, more than 120 ADA members converged on Capitol Hill for a day-long Lobby Day to advocate for passage of H.R. 2519, the Audiology Patient Choice Act, and introduction of a Senate companion bill to amend Title XVIII (18) of the Social Security Act, and bring Medicare in line with today’s best practices in audiology care delivery. If enacted, the Audiology Patient Choice Act will:
  • Provide Medicare patients with reimbursable direct access to audiologists, without requiring an order from a medical doctor. As medical necessity would still be required for treatment, this would not increase cost—it would only avoid duplication and increase efficiency while preserving safe, effective care.
  • Allow Medicare patients to choose from among all qualified Medicare providers for the full range of Medicare-covered audiology health care services. These services are already covered piece meal under Medicare when delivered by other providers.
  • Classify audiologists as physicians under the Medicare program, which is the most appropriate taxonomy and is consistent with the classification for other non-medical doctor providers in the Medicare program, such as optometrists, podiatrists, dentists and chiropractors.
“Passage of the Audiology Patient Choice Act is the audiology profession’s most pressing federal legislative priority,” said ADA Advocacy Chair, Eric Hagberg, Au.D. “ADA members did an outstanding job articulating to Congress the need for the bill to streamline the provision of audiology services under Medicare and to ensure better access to care for patients!”

Throughout ADA Lobby Day, nearly 140 meetings were held with legislative offices. In addition, packets of information were personally delivered to every legislative office in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

“It was extremely gratifying to witness such strong participation by ADA members for 2015 Lobby Day,” said ADA President, Rita Chaiken, Au.D. “I was very impressed by the level of commitment and the degree preparedness on the issue that was demonstrated by our audiologist and student members. Because of them, Congress is much better educated about audiology as a doctoring profession and the important role of audiologists and the services that they provide to achieving better outcomes for Medicare patients.”

During the ADA Convention, more than $120,000 was raised to support ADA advocacy initiatives—and ensure capital ideas like the Audiology Patient Choice Act are embraced by Congress! The convention program also featured 25 informative education sessions and hundreds of capitol ideas. If you missed the convention—you can still catch all of the great programming! Visit www.audiologist.org to view the webcast of Dr. Robert Cooper’s Keynote presentation and all of the Friday programming, or to purchase the DVD of every session.    
Dr. Rita Chaiken Installed as President of ADA
ADA is pleased to announce that Rita Chaiken, Au.D., of Atlanta, Georgia has been elected to serve as the ADA President for the 2016 program year. Dr. Chaiken was installed as ADA President during the Opening General Session of the ADA Convention on Friday, November 13, 2015.

“I am incredibly honored to serve my peers as president of our illustrious organization,” said Dr. Chaiken. “I look forward to working with ADA members and the Board of Directors to achieve ADA objectives, enhance member engagement and continue ADA’s rich history of innovation.”

Dr. Chaiken currently serves as a consultant for Atlanta Hearing Associates, a private practice with four locations in Georgia. She is a leading expert in cerumen management and teaches cerumen management courses in North America. Dr. Chaiken is an adjunct instructor at Salus University Osborne College of Audiology and was named the 2014 Salus University College of Audiology Alumnus of the Year. Her previous experience includes founding a private audiology practice, which she owned and operated for 12 years and serving on the State of Georgia Board of Examiners for Speech Pathology and Audiology. Dr. Chaiken also served as a regional manager for a hearing instrument manufacturer for three years. Dr. Chaiken has been a member of ADA since 1981 and a member of the ADA Board of Directors since 2010.    
UNC Chapel Hill Students Moore and Obarowski Take Home Grand Prize Honors at ADA Student Business Plan Competition

ADA is pleased to announce that University of North Carolina Chapel Hill students Mark Moore and Sarah Obarowski earned first place honors and a $5,000 cash grant during the third annual ADA Student Business Plan Competition, held November 13thin Washington, D.C. Both Moore and Obarowski are scheduled to be graduated in 2016!

The ADA Business Plan Competition is geared for audiology students seeking meaningful hands-on business experience, and the opportunity to showcase their knowledge and creativity. Early-round activities included development of a written executive summary and business plan, which was judged on creativity, feasibility, completeness, cohesiveness, professionalism and polish. Finalists received an all-expense-paid trip to the ADA Annual Convention where the Competition culminated with a live general session featuring student presentation pitches, and rapid-fire questions from the judges.

“The business savvy and hard work demonstrated by Mark and Sarah, over the past six months of competition, exemplifies what it takes to successfully manage an audiology clinic,” said ADA President Rita Chaiken, Au.D. “The level of knowledge and resourcefulness displayed by all of the 2015 finalists offers great assurance that the future of audiology is in great hands!”

ADA 2015 Student Business Plan Competition honorable mentions go to Cliff Olson of the University of Illinois, who finished in second place, and Hershel Korngut and Garrett Thompson representing the Graduate Center of City University of New York (CUNY), who took home third place honors.

Competition Judges included Peer Lauritsen, Doug Beck, Au.D. Linda Hartman, Au.D. and Andrew Hebert (returning). Audiology Practices Editor, Brian Taylor, Au.D., also made a return appearance as the Master of Ceremonies. “ADA would like to thank EarQ for its ongoing commitment to support the ADA Student Business Plan Competition,” said Dr. Chaiken. “EarQ’s donation of time and resources to ensure the success of the Competition has provided a unique opportunity for Au.D. candidates to hone their practice management skills.”