Senator’s bipartisan legislation strengthens Medicare patients’ access to hearing and health services provided by licensed audiologists
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema cosponsored the Medicare Audiology Access Improvement Act – bipartisan legislation ensuring seniors and Arizonans with disabilities on Medicare have access to a full range of hearing and audiology health care services provided by licensed audiologists. The bipartisan legislation was introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.).
“Our bipartisan legislation makes crucial hearing treatments more accessible and affordable for Arizona seniors and folks with disabilities,” said Sinema.
The Sinema-backed Medicare Audiology Access Improvement Act expands access and lowers the cost of audiology treatments for the two-thirds of seniors who suffer from some form of hearing loss. Hearing loss can put people at greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and increase social isolation.
Medicare covers a range of audiology services, but licensed audiologists are only reimbursed for a limited number of these services and only with a primary care physician’s referral. The bipartisan bill would allow audiologists to be reimbursed for all covered Medicare services within an audiologist’s scope of practice and without a referral, making it easier for seniors to access services.
In addition to helping older Americans hear better, receiving treatment for hearing loss can reduce the risk of household accidents or falls in older Americans, reducing the risk of costly complications down the road. This bipartisan bill increases Medicare beneficiaries’ access to the more than 13,000 audiologists nationwide, and removes barriers to receiving necessary care for hearing loss.