Arkansas Medicaid as part of its System of Care review is considering expanding its coverage of cochlear implants to cover adults or individuals older than age 21. In support of this initiative, the Academy weighed in to support this effort. The Academy letter in support of this expansion provided that individuals who receive a cochlear implant generally increase their median income by $10,000–12,000 annually (Clinkard et al, 2015) and thereby reduce usage of state disability and welfare services.
Studies have shown that in states that provide this expanded coverage, the lifetime net gain is estimated at $400,000 per patient (Neve et al, 2021). In these ways, expanding coverage would produce a net economic gain for Arkansas. Expanding this coverage also would ensure that children who have received a cochlear implant in the Medicaid program would continue to be supported and receive the necessary accessories and updates after they turn 21.
Clinkard D, Barbic S, Amoodi H, Shipp D, Lin V. (2015) The economic and societal benefits of adult cochlear implantation: A pilot exploratory study. Cochlear Implants Int. (4):181–5. Doi:10.1179/17547622814Y.0000000096. Epub 2014 Sep 19. PMID: 25237848.
Neve OM, Boerman JA, van den Hout WB, Briaire JJ, van Benthem PPG, Frijns JHM. (2021) Cost-benefit analysis of cochlear implants: a societal perspective. Ear Hear. (5):1338–1350. Doi:10.1097/AUD.0000000000001021. PMID:33675588; PMCID: PMC8378541.
A growing body of evidence demonstrates the connection between health outcomes to income, education, nutrition, housing, environmental exposures, and other social circumstances. Similarly, studies have shown that interventions addressing SDOH can improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs. In response, the Biden-Harris Administration has released a playbook outlining new or strengthened initiatives that agencies…
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) posted on October 25, 2023 Advisory Opinion No. 23-08, in which OIG rejected a proposed arrangement from a cochlear implant device manufacturer (the requestor) that would provide a free hearing aid to certain qualified patients who received a cochlear implant. OIG concluded the…
Representatives Bilirakis and Cartwright Introduce the Medicare Audiology Access Improvement Act of 2023 (H.R. 6445)
On November 17, 2023, Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Matt Cartwright (D-PA) introduced the Medicare Audiology Access improvement Act (H.R. 6445). This legislation is also co-sponsored by Representatives Johnson (R-OH), Shakowsky (D-IL), Mace (R-SC), Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Trone (D-MD), Webster (R-FL), Cohen (D-TN), LaMalfa (R-CA), Grijalva (D-AZ), Foster (D-IL) and Pocan (D-WI). Senators Elizabeth…