Representatives Jenkins and Cartwright Introduce the Audiology Patient Choice Act, HR 5304

Washington, D.C.—The Academy of Doctors of Audiology applauds U.S. Representatives Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Matt Cartwright (D-PA) who introduced the Audiology Patient Choice Act, HR 5304, late yesterday. This non-partisan, common-sense legislation, if enacted, will bring Medicare in line with best practices in audiologic health care delivery models, and trends in patient care and participatory medicine. HR 5304 will specifically:
  • Improve access to qualified, licensed Medicare providers, by allowing seniors with a suspected hearing or balance disorder to seek treatment directly from audiologists, eliminating archaic medical doctor referral requirements.
  • Allow patients to choose among qualified providers for Medicare-covered audiologic services by authorizing Medicare to reimburse audiologists for the Medicare-covered services that they are licensed to provide. These services are already covered by Medicare when delivered by other providers.
  • Address the medical doctor workforce shortage confronting our country, while helping to meet the increasing demand for health care services by the growing Medicare population, through the inclusion of audiologists in the list of Medicare-recognized physicians (chiropractors, dentists, doctors of osteopathy, medical doctors, optometrists and podiatrists).
“We thank Representatives Jenkins and Cartwright for their commitment to ensure that older Americans have the same freedom of choice and access to safe, efficient audiologic care as the rest of us do,” said ADA President Brian Urban, Au.D. “This legislation will foster exceptional patient outcomes, and it will do so in manner that is fiscally responsible and functionally sustainable.”

The Audiology Patient Choice Act was borne from audiology’s 18x18 Initiative, which includes a call to action for Congress to update Title 18 of the Social Security Act by 2018 with the changes included in this bill.

The Audiology Patient Choice Act was carefully constructed to promote high-quality, cost-effective audiologic care for Medicare patients. The legislation will not:
  • Expand or add new services to the Medicare program
  • Expand or modify an audiologist’s scope of practice
  • Impact state licensure requirements for the practice of audiology
  • Increase patient risk or compromise quality of care
“The introduction of HR 5304 in the 113th Congress is a testament to both the tenets and the tenacity of ADA members and the audiology community,” said ADA Advocacy Chair, Eric Hagberg, Au.D. “We will continue to advocate on behalf of our patients, our profession and the public to ensure that the Audiology Patient Choice Act is passed and signed into law!”

About Audiologists:
An audiologist is a highly trained health care professional, specializing in the prevention, assessment and treatment of audiologic disorders. Audiologists are the only health care professionals who are university‐educated and licensed to specifically identify, evaluate, diagnose, and treat hearing and balance disorders, and to identify medical‐related conditions that require a referral to a medical doctor. Today, a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree is required to become a clinical audiologist. Audiologists are licensed in all 50 states.

About ADA:
The Academy of Doctors of Audiology is dedicated to the advancement of practitioner excellence, high ethical standards, professional autonomy and sound business practices in the provision of quality audiologic care. ADA provides programming, services and resources to audiologists and students who are, or who desire to be autonomous practitioners.

Visit ADA’s AuDvocacy Action Center for more information about The Audiology Patient Choice Act including the following: