The Academy submitted comments in response to a Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) request for information on identifying burdensome Medicare regulations that exceed state scope of practice laws and limit non-physician providers from practicing at the top of their license.

This request for information is a follow up to the President’s Executive Order (EO) #13890 on Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation’s Seniors. The Executive Order specifically directs Health and Human Services to propose reforms to the Medicare program, including ones that eliminate requirements of the Medicare program that are more stringent than state scope of practice laws and limit non-physician providers from practicing to the full extent of their education and training.

Academy comments emphasize that Medicare’s physician order requirement for beneficiary access to audiology services is an unnecessary outlier and an impediment to care. A physician order is not required by the 50 states’ or the District of Columbia’s audiology licensure laws prior to an individual being allowed access to the care of an audiologist. In addition, the Department of Defense, the Veterans Health Administration, the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan, as well as most private insurance and Medicare Advantage plans allow direct access.

The Academy applauds the goal of the Executive Order to recognize and allow non-physician providers to practice at the top of their license and remove outdated Medicare regulations that may impede this goal.