The Academy believes that a physician-led healthcare team is the best approach for providing high-quality care to patients.
As such, the Academy is strongly opposed to the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act (H.R. 1587/S. 1731), misguided legislation that would inappropriately grant audiologists unlimited direct access to Medicare patients without a physician referral and threaten patient safety.
The audiology community continues to pursue legislation that would remove existing physician referral requirements and granting audiologists with “limited license physician” status within the Medicare program. Hearing and balance disorders are medical conditions that require a full patient history and physical examination by a Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) for proper diagnosis and treatment.
While audiologists are valued health professionals who work for and with physicians, they do not possess the medical training necessary to perform the same duties as physicians, nor are they able to provide patients with the full range of medical diagnosis and treatment options. The Academy opposes any legislation that would allow audiologists to independently diagnose and treat the medical conditions associated with hearing loss.
Contact your lawmaker today!
Ensuring patient safety for hearing healthcare
H.R. 1587/S. 1731, the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act (MAASA) of 2021, is opposed by 110 national, state, and local medical organizations — including the AAO-HNS. The Academy has sent coalition letters publicly expressing joint opposition to leaders of the committees of jurisdiction in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Lawmakers can ensure patient safety for hearing healthcare by opposing MAASA, as well as any legislation that would allow audiologists direct access to Medicare beneficiaries.