President's Message: Move the Needle and Move Audiology Forward by Supporting the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act

Author: Ram Nileshwar, Au.D.

From the historic founding of ADA in 1977 with autonomous practice as the primary goal, through “transforming audiology to a doctoral profession with Au.D. as its distinctive designator” in 1988, to recent legislative initiatives such as 18X18 and the Audiology Patient Choice Act, ADA has been relentless in its pursuit of Professional Autonomy, a core Mission and Vision tenet of ADA.

The Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act (H.R. 4056/S. 2446) or MAASA, a unique and distinctive collaborative legislative initiative involving ADA, AAA, and ASHA, seeks to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to reclassify audiologists as Practitioners for the purpose of furnishing audiology services under the Medicare program and to enable Medicare beneficiaries to have their choice of audiologist.

H.R. 4056 was introduced by Rep. Tom Tice (R-SC), Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) and eight other bi-partisan co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives on July 25th, 2019. The Senate companion bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate on September 9, 2019 by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). The legislation has, thus far, enjoyed strong bi-partisan support, including from original co-sponsors, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS).

The passage of MAASA will require a concerted and continuing effort on the part of every audiologist in the United States. To that end, ADA has developed multiple resources to help audiologists learn more about, advocate for and donate for the passage this legislation.

  1. ADA is organizing Lobby Day on Thursday, November 14, 2019 on Capitol Hill, ahead of the commencement of AuDacity 2019. I strongly encourage every audiologist including ADA members, non-members and students to attend Lobby Day on Capitol Hill. Please visit to view a webcast about ADA Lobby Day Basics: The Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How and to register to attend Lobby Day.

  2. Please visit to learn more about MAASA, download talking points, and to use Congressional Connect to write to your legislators and encourage them to support MAASA.

  3. Your generous donations are critical and will undoubtedly help in passing MAASA and moving a big step closer to Professional Autonomy for Audiology. To donate to this important endeavor, please visit

    Together, we can achieve the vision of ADA, the objectives that audiology has pursued for decades, and in so doing, create a wonderful future for our patients and our profession. In the meantime, I hope to see you all at ADA Lobby Day.