Representative Jenkins and Cartwright Reintroduce the Audiology Patient Choice Act, H.R. 2519

For Immediate Release
May 22, 2015
Contact: Stephanie Czuhajewski
(859) 321-1595

Washington, D.C.—The Academy of Doctors of Audiology applauds U.S. Representatives Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Matt Cartwright (D-PA) who reintroduced the Audiology Patient Choice Act, H.R. 2519 yesterday. This bi-partisan, common-sense legislation, originally introduced in 2014, will bring Medicare in line with best practices in audiologic health care by improving patient access to audiology services and promoting models of care that have been proven safe, efficient and effective.

  • To contact your legislators now urging support of H.R. 2519 via ADA's Congressional Connect, click here. “There is no better way to commemorate Better Hearing Month than by introducing legislation that will provide older Americans with the same freedom of choice and access to safe, efficient audiologic care as the rest of us enjoy,” said ADA President and nationally renowned audiology reimbursement expert, Kim Cavitt, Au.D. “This legislation will foster exceptional patient outcomes within Medicare, and it will do so in manner that is fiscally responsible and functionally sustainable.”

    H.R. 2519 will specifically:
    • Improve access to qualified, licensed Medicare providers, by allowing seniors with a suspected hearing or balance disorder to seek treatment directly from audiologists, eliminating medical doctor order requisites for care.
    • Allow patients to choose from among all qualified providers by authorizing Medicare to reimburse audiologists for the services that
      • Medicare already covers and
      • audiologists are already licensed to provide.
    • 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, through the inclusion of audiologists in the list of Medicare-recognized physicians (chiropractors, dentists, doctors of osteopathy, medical doctors, optometrists and podiatrists).
    The Audiology Patient Choice Act was carefully constructed to promote high-quality, cost-effective audiologic care for Medicare patients. Read the ADA issue brief, The Audiology Patient Choice Act: Advancing Care Under Medicare, for a complete overview of the benefits of the bill.

    H.R. 2519 will not:
    • Expand or add new services to the Medicare program
    • Expand or modify an audiologist’s scope of practice
    • Impact state licensure requirements for the practice of audiology
    • Increase patient risk or compromise quality of care
    “The Audiology Patient Choice Act has already been endorsed by nearly 30 leading state and national organizations representing audiologists and patients,” said ADA Advocacy Chair, Eric Hagberg, Au.D. “It is clear that the entire audiology community (republicans and democrats alike) is committed to bringing Medicare in line with today’s best practices in hearing and balance care! We will advocate tirelessly for the passage of H.R. 2519—it is undoubtedly the best way forward for our patients, for our profession and for the taxpayers!”

    About Audiologists:
    An audiologist is a highly trained health care professional, specializing in the prevention, assessment and treatment of audiologic disorders. Audiologists are health care professionals who are university‐educated and licensed to specifically identify, evaluate, diagnose, and treat hearing and balance disorders, and to identify medical‐related conditions that require a referral to a medical doctor. Today, a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree is required to become a clinical audiologist. Audiologists are licensed in all 50 states.

    About ADA:
    The Academy of Doctors of Audiology is dedicated to the advancement of practitioner excellence, high ethical standards, professional autonomy and sound business practices in the provision of quality audiologic care. ADA provides programming, services and resources to audiologists and students who are, or who desire to be autonomous practitioners.

    Visit ADA’s AuDvocacy Action Center for more information about The Audiology Patient Choice Act including the following: