The Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA), a recognized leader in the advancement of evidence-based clinical practices in the delivery of audiologic and vestibular services, applauds President Donald J. Trump for his commitment to “eliminate regulations that create inefficiencies or otherwise undermine patient outcomes,” as outlined in Executive Order #13890 on Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation’s Seniors, issued on October 3, 2019.
ADA appreciates the opportunity to provide information to advance the Administration’s innovative Patients over Paperwork initiative through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which seeks to eliminate regulations that contain more restrictive supervision requirements than existing state scope of practice laws, or that limit health professionals from practicing at the top of their license.
Archaic Medicare regulations impede access to timely hearing and balance health care services for millions of Medicare Part B beneficiaries, create unnecessary office visits and Medicare expenditures, and prevent audiologists from performing the safe, effective diagnostic testing services that they are specifically trained and licensed to provide in all 50 states and U.S. territories for patients of all ages.
Of particular concern is the baseless requirement, exclusive to Medicare Part B beneficiaries, that mandates them to obtain a physician order before seeing an audiologist for medically-necessary diagnostic testing, as a requirement for coverage. By contrast, private insurers, including most Medicare Advantage plans, allow and encourage patients to go directly to audiologists for the provision of covered services. Other federal programs, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan, also allow patients to seek diagnostic services directly from audiologists, without the need for a physician order.