President’s Message: The Board Working on Your Behalf
Message from President Catherine Palmer, PhD | October 2019
The new board convened last week (October 17-19) for three days of strategic and high-energy discussions. Joining the board for part of the meeting, council and partner chairs further enriched discussions about some of the bigger initiatives of the organization. Their participation underscored the value of our new governance structure and also helped to identify some additional needed tweaks to refine the council model for maximizing their value in overseeing committee work and informing board discussions.
While in the DC area, the board engaged in a mini-Hill day that involved individual office visits and a joint briefing with representatives of ADA and ASHA. All board members reported very positive experiences, and we are pleased to report success in eliciting a few more sponsors for the joint legislation.
- The big story of the week is the legislative progress toward adoption of provisions from our joint legislation, “The Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act of 2019.” As reported out to membership, staff of the ADA, ASHA, and Academy were successful in get key provisions of our bill language amended into H.R. 4618, “The Medicare Hearing Act of 2019.” This bill was passed by the Ways and Means Committee and now will move forward soon for a House vote. H.R. 4618 adds new hearing benefits, including hearing aids, for Medicare beneficiaries with severe to profound hearing loss and, as amended, enables audiologists to provide both diagnostic and treatment services and reclassifies audiologists as practitioners under Medicare. The three organizations will continue to advance the full provisions of our bill, particularly through the Senate; however, we are very excited about this latest development. Read more…
- We also are seeing traction on the Senate side for the Allied Health Workforce Diversity bill. The bill passed quickly through the House and was recently introduced by Senators Casey and Murkowski. We anticipate further action on the Senate side also to be soon. If enacted, this bill would provide funding to academic programs to support scholarships for diverse students in audiology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology.
AAA 2020 + HearTECH Expo
- Call for Posters is still open. Share your original research, teaching practice, or unusual clinical examples with your colleagues.
- Check out the amazing education offered this year the expo hall. Sponsored by HIA, our Future Hub, the heart of the hall, features CEO talks, thought leadership on the future of hearing health, and presentations from and one-on-one opportunities with conversations from leading industry manufacturers.