By Susan Pilch This article is a part of the March/April, Volume 35, Number 2, Audiology Today issue. 2023 marks the start of the 118th Congress and a shift in the balance of power on Capitol Hill. The November 2022 mid-term elections resulted in Republicans taking control of the House of Representatives, holding 221 seats compared to 214 seats held by Democrats. The Senate remains under Democratic control with Democrats holding 51 seats and Republicans holding 49. These changes combined with numerous retirements will result in a reshuffling of Committee assignments on the relevant Committees of jurisdiction. Status and 2023 Outlook for the Medicare Audiology Legislation Despite hopes that the provisions of the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act would make it into the 2022 end-of-year omnibus funding legislation, these provisions were ultimately not included in the package. With the start of any new Congress, all legislation will need to be reintroduced. The Medicare audiology bill will be reintroduced with the same legislative language. This legislation would grant audiologists “practitioner” status in Medicare, remove the physician referral requirement, and allow audiologists to provide and be reimbursed for diagnostic and treatment services. Senate sponsors will continue to be Senators Warren and Grassley. The lead Republican House sponsor, Representative Rice, did not win re-election in 2022, and the Academy is again partnering with the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) to reintroduce the Medicare audiology bill, secure a lead House sponsor, and lobby to secure additional support for the bill. Once the bill is introduced, the Academy, ADA, and ASHA will seek out any and all opportunities to advance this legislation either on its own or by attaching it to other pieces of “must-pass” legislation. Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act—ENACTED The provisions of this legislation that will provide stipends and scholarship money to students typically underrepresented in the fields of audiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, and speech-language pathology were included in the 2022 end-of-year omnibus package that was ultimately signed into law. In the fall, the provisions of this legislation were included in the PREVENT Pandemics Act. Portions of the PREVENT Pandemics Act (including the allied health diversity act) were incorporated into the large end-of-year package. It will be necessary to monitor the implementation of these provisions moving forward. EHDI Reauthorization—ENACTED On December 20, 2022, President Biden signed legislation to reauthorize the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Act into law through 2026. In addition to reauthorizing the program, the legislation requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to prepare a report assessing program performance, particularly for medically underserved populations. This content is an exclusive benefit for American Academy of Audiology members. If you're a member, log in and you'll get immediate access. Member Login If you're not yet a member, you'll be interested to know that joining not only gives you access to top-notch resources like this one, but also invitations to member-only events, inclusion in the member directory, participation in professional forums, and access to patient resources, tools, and continuing education. Join today!