Message from the President: Lisa Christensen, AuD
Academy, ASHA, and ADA Enter into Agreement for Legislation
The Academy leadership has entered into a cooperative agreement with ADA and ASHA to jointly develop and advance legislation early in the 116th Congress. This legislation would seek to remove barriers to Medicare patients having access to audiologic services and to significantly advance our profession.
Priorities for this legislation will include the following:
- Give audiologists additional opportunities under Medicare by reclassification as “practitioners,”
- Allow for direct access by Medicare patients to audiologists, and
- Expand covered audiologic services beyond diagnosis to include treatment.
The congressional landscape, as well as the heightened awareness about aging issues and hearing health by policymakers, provides a positive climate for this joint legislation. Efforts over the years by the three organizations have brought us to a pivotal point where our collective support of a joint bill can be impactful.
The agreement with ADA and ASHA reflects the commitment of the Academy, as well as the other organizations, to seeking opportunities for collaboration that will help to unify our community and evolve the profession. This legislative initiative is a significant step forward and reflects a tangible outcome from the efforts started at the recent Aligned Sense of Purpose meeting, as previously reported.
World Hearing Day Is March 3
The Academy supports this worldwide awareness initiative created by the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2019, the theme of this recognition day is the importance of early identification and intervention for hearing loss. Many people live with unidentified hearing loss, often failing to realize that they are missing out on certain sounds and words. Checking one’s hearing would be the first step toward addressing the issue.
The Academy has created some visual resources and press release information that you can use to help show your support for this day and to raise awareness of hearing health care.
HIA Launches Healthy Hearing Public Awareness Campaign
The Hearing Industries Association (HIA) launched a new campaign to raise awareness about the importance of an annual hearing check for consumers. The “Preserve Your Passion” campaign aims to encourage a change in behavior so that a hearing wellness check becomes routine.
The campaign’s website HearWellStayVital.org offers free posters, videos, and social media resources to promote hearing health and World Hearing Day. World Hearing Day is March 3, and the 2019 theme is “Check Your Hearing.” The Academy supports these public awareness initiatives and encourages consumers to #CheckYourHearing every year by visiting an audiologist.
The Academy has been working collaboratively with organizations through an informal coalition to track the progress of the LEAD-K legislation within states. The Academy board supports enabling and empowering parents to exercise their right to informed choice in determining communication mode for their families and recognizes that the current LEAD-K legislation is inconsistent with the goal of parent choice.