Samuel N. Bittel, AuD
Director of Vestibular Services, Associated Audiologists Inc., Overland Park, KS
Lecturer, Department of Audiology, Adjunct Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS
BS: Psychology, Fort Hays State University, 2001
BA: Sociology, Fort Hays State University, 2002
AuD: Doctor of Audiology, Nova Southeastern University, 2008
It is an exciting time to be an audiologist, as we are in a time of transition and our destinies are in our hands. I am regularly approached by colleagues with apprehension about the state of health care, insurance reimbursement cuts, and our footing as the entry point for vestibular and hearing health care. My response is always very similar—I believe that times of uncertainty are a perfect opening for advancement. With changes in health care, audiology will have a door opened that may allow us to achieve our goals.
We need to focus on direct access and appropriate reimbursement for the full scope of our services, establishing a unified legislative and financial front between our professional organizations, addressing the pending shortage of audiologists, and increasing academic standards and creating better uniformity between AuD programs.
We are the right profession to act as the entry point for hearing/vestibular health care. We have the unique tools, education, and skill set to provide the most complete and competent job. However, no other profession or governmental agency is going to hand us direct access or gate-keeper status. We must stand united, and fight the good fight for our profession, colleagues, and patients.
Area of Special Interest
Vestibular evaluation and management
Alpha Eta Honors Society, Nova Southeastern University, Chancellor’s Scholarship in Audiology, 2006 and 2007, Weiser Scholar in Audiology, 2005, Chancellor Scholar in Audiology, 2005; Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society member; Fort Hays State University, Silver Scholarship and Award of Excellence; Florida Academy of Audiology, Student Scholarship, 2006
American Academy of Audiology AudiologyNOW! Learning Lab Committee, 2010, Learning Module Committee, 2011, Exhibitor Course and Industry Update Committee, 2013, Featured Session Committee, 2013, Professional Development Committee. Audiology Quality Consortium; Kansas Speech and Hearing Association, Vice president of legislative issues, Single license for audiologists in Kansas task force chair, Audiology Vice President, 2010–2012, Audiology Chair for State Conference, 2010; Wrote and had grant funded to research insurance coverage for hearing aids in Kansas