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AT News December 2011

AT News December 2011

December 01, 2011 E-News


American Academy of Audiology - Audiology Today
December 2011
Let Me Hear from You: The Year in Review
By Therese Walden, AuD

With 2012 looming ahead of us, and 2011 in the rear-view mirror, we can’t rest on our laurels nor focus on missed opportunities. We have to continue to participate, to achieve, to engage, to cooperate, to enjoy, to acknowledge, and to act. Read more…

Academy Analysis of the 2012 Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule
On November 1, 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule (MPFS) that updates payment rates and other policies under the Medicare physician fee schedule for services furnished on or after January 1, 2012. The following provides American Academy of Audiology (Academy) members with a comprehensive summary of the areas critical to the audiology profession. Read More…
Looking to Hire an Audiologist at AudiologyNOW?
Beginning December 28, when employers purchase a 30-day posting and indicate they are attending AudiologyNOW!, their job will remain visible through the end of AudiologyNOW! That's up to 90 days of visibility for the price of 30 days. Visit the HEARCareers site for more information.
Print Your Official 2011 Transcript by January 31, 2012
All members can print a continuing education transcript anytime—online! It is your responsibility to print your official 2011 transcript by January 31, 2012. Hint: The best time to print your 2011 transcript is between January 16–31, 2012—waiting until then will allow time for all CEUs to be entered into your record. After January 31, only 2012 CEUs will be available to print. To view or print a transcript of your 2011 CEUs, logon to your member profile page here.
Practice Management Tip of the Month—Keep in Touch
Keep in touch with those patients who have left your office "thinking about it." Mail out information pertaining to better hearing, improved communication, and benefits of amplification. Consider sending a personal letter to let them know you are here to help when they are ready. They cared enough to make an appointment to come in for their hearing and it's a good idea to follow through, even if they are not making an immediate decision. Read more…
Auction 4 Audiology: Boston Preview! Ends Friday
Why wait to make your plans for AudiologyNOW! 2012? Grab Boston bargains in entertainment, dining, and accommodations before it's too late! The auction ends at 12:00 pm ET on Friday, December 9, and all proceeds benefit the AAA Foundation. Read more…
Lessons from the AAA Foundation Trenches
New Foundation Board member Joscelyn Martin, AuD, recently wrote a guest post on the blog of former Foundation Board member A.U. Bankaitis, AuD. Check out some interesting things Joscelyn learned so far in her first few months as a trustee. You're guaranteed to learn something, too! Read more…
Itemizing/Unbundling: A Current Hot Topic in Audiology
If you are wondering how to begin this process in your office, the Academy offers these essential resources:
  1. I want to itemize my hearing aid fees, but where do I begin to look for the hearing aid related HCPCS codes? This superbill/encounter form has all the hearing aid HCPCS codes.
  2. I need more details on itemization and how it can be implemented in my office. Where can I find more information? Check out this e-Audiology Unbundling Web seminar.
  3. I am thinking about accepting insurance payment for my services. What's available on this topic? Adam Locker, a previous member of the Coding and Reimbursement Committee, wrote this article on insurance participation.
  4. Now that I've decided to contract…what questions should I be asking? Here is a list of questions you will want to ask a commercial payer.
  5. Need more information on professional fees and service provision for hearing aids? Review the Fee-for-Service Models eAudiology Web Seminar.
  6. Robert Sweetow chaired a task force with subject matter experts on hearing aid delivery systems. Read about their findings with considerations for the future:
  7. I'd like to read more about antitrust laws. Does the Academy have a resource that is easy to understand? Yes, a short powerpoint may be found here.
New Otoacoustic Emissions CPT Screening Code and New Code Descriptors for OAE CPT Codes 92587 and 92588
Effective January 1, 2012, there will be a new OAE code, 92558, "Evoked otoacoustic emissions, screening (qualitative measurement of distortion product or transient evoked otoacoustic emissions), automated analysis" and new code descriptors for the existing OAE codes, 92587 and 92588:
  • 92587: Distortion product evoked otoacoustic emissions, limited evaluation (to confirm the presence or absence of hearing disorder, 3-6 frequencies) or transient evoked otoacoustic emissions, with interpretation and report
  • 92588: Comprehensive diagnostic evaluation (quantitative analysis of outer hair cell function by cochlear mapping, minimum of 12 frequencies), with interpretation and report In collaboration with ADA and ASHA, the Academy has posted a fact sheet on the use of these codes. There will not be any new ICD-9 or HCPCS codes pertinent to audiologists for 2012.


NEW Advanced Beneficiary Notice (ABN) Must Be Used by January 1, 2012
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a new ABN form (CMS-R-131) with a 3/11 date printed in the lower left hand corner. There are essentially no changes to this form other than the date change and you are permitted to utilize the 2008 or 2011 versions until December 31, 2011. However, beginning January 1, 2012, all Medicare providers must begin using the new form. Download the new form. Obtain the directions for the ABN.

HIPAA Version 5010—Deadline in Less than One Month
January 1, 2012, is the deadline for the HIPAA 4010 to 5010 conversion, less than one month away, and an essential step in the ICD-10 code conversion process. You will want to check with your billing vendors, including your claims clearinghouse, to ensure that they are compliant with their systems and software. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has indicated that they will not accept 4010 claims after the January 1 deadline, which could result in delayed claims if your vendors are not in compliance. In addition, you will want to test the most common procedures you perform, to ensure a seamless transition in payment.
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Assistant Professor of Audiology--Tenure Track Lamar University Southeast, TX
Dispensing Audiologist American Hearing Aid Associates Cheshire, CT

Browse audiology jobs and post your resume for free at

December 14
eAudiology Web Seminar: Real World Ethics for Audiologists (ABA Tier 1 and Ethics) (.3 CEUs)

January 10
eAudiology Web Seminar: Coding Changes for 2012 (.1 CEUs)

January 18
Early Registration Deadline, AudiologyNOW! 2012

January 20
Member Assistance Program Deadline, AudiologyNOW! 2012

January 26–28
Georgia Academy of Audiology 10th Annual Conference, Hilton/Atlanta Marietta Conference Center and Resort, Marietta, GA


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