In a letter to the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), the Academy requests that the agency exercise the full extent of its regulatory authority to allow Medicare beneficiaries to access audiology services via telehealth.

CMS is expected to be issuing additional guidance about telehealth in the coming days to further reduce regulatory barriers and maximize provider participation for the benefit of Medicare beneficiaries.

Medicare currently lags behind the Veterans Administration, some private payers, and state licensing boards in allowing direct access to audiology services and for them to be provided via telehealth.

Access to hearing health care during the COVID-19 pandemic is critical, and telehealth delivery offers the most protection to the high-risk Medicare population.