Let Me Hear From You
Educate Your Legislators About the Cost Savings of Direct Access
Have you heard the news? Did you read the Academy's announcement, "Commissioned Study Finds Cost Savings with Direct Access" on November 7? We knew it and now have shown that direct access to audiologists is cost-effective and safe. Working with the independent health-care economics consulting firm of Dobson DaVanzo & Associates, LLC, the Academy has completed a compelling and comprehensive study demonstrating that direct access to hearing and balance care for Medicare beneficiaries would result in a cost savings to the system of about $240 million over a 10-year period. The Academy is now working quickly to educate our legislators about the cost savings associated with direct access.
The time is now—we need your help. Since the news broke, our future audiologists, the Student Academy of Audiology, announced a Student Advocacy Challenge and have sent an unprecedented number of e-mails to their legislators in support of direct access. I now challenge Academy Fellow members to ensure your voice is heard. Congress is always looking for cost-savings measures and we need to work swiftly to make this one known as the 112th Congress comes to an end. Please become a "15-second activist" by contacting your legislators on our Legislative Action Center and take an additional 60 seconds to make a contribution to the Academy's Political Action Committee (PAC). Finally, urge your patients, family members, and friends to visit www.howsyourhearing.org to send letters in support of direct access. Medicare beneficiaries deserve the same direct access to hearing and balance health care as our federal employees, Veterans, and those on private insurance plans.
Speaking of challenge…in our daily activities, it is easy to focus on our own corner of the world and lose site of the big picture—the old adage "it's hard to see the forest through the trees" certainly applies. Our practice settings, specialties, or clinical interests naturally drive our efforts and the organizations to which we belong. While prudent at one level, we must ensure that we also attend to the profession as a whole and that we do not allow our own interests to create divides among specialties. The Academy is over 11,750 members strong and growing with focus on the advancement of audiology. We move ahead most effectively when we communicate our needs, support each other, and work together.
As we close out 2012, remember to renew your membership, recruit a fellow member, and consider a tax-deductible gift to the AAA Foundation. Did you know that only 5 percent of audiologists currently support the Foundation's Annual Fund? If you are a new donor, note AAA Foundation's special "EARmark your State" program that supports global, national, and local philanthropic projects. Need some ideas for staff gifts during this giving season? Visit the Academy store or consider an eAudiology CEU event or package.
Enjoy the fellowship and spirit of the upcoming holidays.