Have You Heard (March 2015)

March Comes in Like a Lion as ADA Advocates for Two Important Bills
On March 5th, ADA leaders and representatives from allied organizations, converged in Washington D.C. to advocate for the Hearing Aid Tax Credit, recently re-introduced in the 114th Congress by Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). This bipartisan legislation, if enacted, will provide assistance to many of the 36 million people who need hearing aids to address their hearing loss. S.315 will provide a $500 tax credit per hearing aid for people of all ages, or $1,000 if two hearing aids are needed.

The Hearing Aid Tax Credit will make a critical difference since 61% of all hearing aid purchases involve no third party payment of any kind. Medicare expressly excludes coverage of hearing aids as do most private insurance policies, and as a result, cost is cited as a prohibitive factor by two thirds of the people who do not treat their hearing loss.

ADA applauds the Hearing Industries Association (HIA) for leading the strategic advocacy efforts that have garnered strong support and increasing momentum for the Hearing Aid Tax Credit in recent years, and directly resulted in the bill’s speedy reintroduction. ADA is proud to support this legislation alongside other allied organizations including the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell), Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), American Academy of Audiology (AAA), American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), International Hearing Society (IHS), in addition to HIA.

Visit www.hearingaidtaxcredit.org for information about the Hearing Aid Tax Credit.

During that week, ADA leaders also met with Congressional members and staff to propel the reintroduction of the Audiology Patient Choice Act to modernize Medicare to improve access to audiology care and better deploy limited healthcare resources, without sacrificing quality or efficacy. The proposed legislation, will improve the provision of hearing and balance care by:
  • Providing Medicare patients with direct access to audiologists, without requiring a referral 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.
  • Allowing seniors to have Medicare expanded access by provider for the full range of audiology health care services. These services are already covered piece meal under Medicare when delivered by another provider.
  • Defining audiologists as physicians under the Medicare program. This is the same status held by other non‐medical doctor providers in the Medicare program, such as optometrists.
The Audiology Patient Choice Act will streamline the provision of audiology services, and increase efficiency within the Medicare system without sacrificing quality or efficacy. Visit www.18x18.org or www.audiologist.org/advocacy for more information.

ADA 2015 Student Business Plan Competition Information Now Available
Attention ADA 3rd and 4th year students—Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit and a sense of adventure? Do you want an immersive practice management experience? If so, it’s time to get down to business and register to participate in the ADA 2015 Student Business Plan Competition.

Please take the following link for more information and to submit your application/notice of intent to participate today: www.audiologist.org/ada-student-business-plan-rubric.

Reminder: During the first round of the 2015 competition, contestants will be required to submit only the executive summary for their business plan for the judges to review (Due by May 18). Contestants who are invited to the second round will be required to submit a complete written business plan using SBA guidelines (this will be due July 6th). Finalists will receive an all-expense paid trip to the ADA 2015 Annual Convention to be held November 12-15, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., where they will present their business plans in person.

The Grand Prize Winner will receive a $5,000 ADA cash grant to be used to advance business objectives and enhance business and leadership skills. Please visit www.audiologist.org for more information! Don’t delay, please complete your intent to participate form today!

ADA would like to thank Ear Q for its generous sponsorship of the 2015 ADA Student Business Plan Competition. Please contact Stephanie Czuhajewski for more information.

Please note: If you will be considered a 3rd or 4th year Au.D. student at any time during the 2015 calendar year, you are eligible to compete in the ADA Student Business Plan Competition.

ADA Resource Library Offers Bright Ideas for Your Practice for Better Hearing Month and Beyond
ADA's Members' Only Resource Library is the one-stop clearinghouse for important resources including videos, templates, articles and other information to help you manage your practice.

Don’t forget to check out the great resources to help you plan for May’s Better Hearing Month including customizable press release, media advisory and presentation templates—and great customizable advertisements that you can use in your practice and your community to raise awareness about the importance of hearing health and audiology care.

Please take the following link to access the ADA Resource Library: www.audiologist.org/resource-library (please note that you must be logged on as an ADA member in order to access the library). Please contact ADA headquarters at 866-493-5544 if you need any assistance logging in.

Do you have a form or a resource to share with your peers? If so, please send it to Ben Swartz at bswartz@audiologist.org, so that it can be added to the library.

ADA 2015 Reimbursement Update Webinar Now Available Online
The ADA 2015 Reimbursement Update webinar is now available online. This important presentation, featuring Dr. Kim Cavitt, outlines the coding and reimbursement changes that audiologists will need to know for a successful and compliant 2015. These include ICD10, the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the Office of Inspector General work plan for audit, and anticipated changes to Medicare reimbursement. Visit the ADA WebinArchive at www.audiologist.org to view this and many other great ADA webinars available for CE credit.

Save the Date for the ADA 2015 Convention
The ADA 2015 Convention, “Capital Ideas,” will be held November 12-15th at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. This year’s event will feature a Lobby Day on Thursday, November 12th an All American Picnic and the great programming that you have come to expect from ADA! Save the date—registration opens on May 6th.