The Audiology Patient Choice Act introduced in U.S. Senate

Legislation

Audiology Patient Choice Act
©mphillips007 - iStock.com

Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Rand Paul have introduced S.2575, the Audiology Patient Choice Act, in the Senate.

According to the American Doctors of Audiology (ADA) the Audiology Patient Choice Act will remove existing barriers to care for millions of Americans by allowing Medicare Part B patients with a suspected hearing or balance problem to go directly to the audiologist, without obtaining an order from an outside provider, such as a medical doctor or nurse practitioner. Patients will be allowed to choose which audiology service they attend. ADA say this will help address the medical doctor workforce shortage confronting America while helping to meet the increasing demand for health care services by the growing Medicare population.

“The Audiology Patient Choice Act, if enacted, will bring Medicare in line with current standards of care and evidence-based practices,” said ADA President, Alicia Spoor, Au.D. “I applaud Senators Warren and Paul for their commitment to ensure that Medicare patients have streamlined access to safe, efficient audiologic care—and the same opportunity to choose from among all qualified providers as the rest of America enjoys.”

"This bill will make a life changing difference for the millions of Americans who experience hearing loss but can't access the care they need because of archaic regulations," said Senator Warren. "I'm glad to work with Senator Paul on this common-sense step to bring down costs for our seniors."

"Our legislation gets government out of the decision-making process so Americans can seek treatment from audiologists more quickly, easily, and affordably. It proves Congress can come together across the aisle to find solutions to improve our health care system," said Senator Paul.

Stakeholders and ADA members have been advocating for changes to be made, as Medicare Part B has not kept pace with the changes that audiology has experienced of the past 50 years. But that work doesn’t stop here and the ADA are calling for help in educating members of Congress to advance the bill.

V.A.