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AT News February 2012

AT News February 2012

February 01, 2012 E-News


American Academy of Audiology - Audiology Today
February 2012
Let Me Hear from You: The State of the Profession
By Therese Walden, AuD
Having just listened to President Obama's State of the Union address, I wondered about the history of this event, going back to George Washington. These messages are ultimately about information sharing, a review of initiatives and programs, and they allow the president to lay out the road map for the legislature. It is in that spirit that I outline for you the work done by your board of directors at their recent board meeting in January. I know I've said this before, but this is one hard-working group of professionals and not only the volunteer leaders but the Academy staff as well. Preparing for these meetings takes a great deal of effort on everyone's part and by doing all that preparation, we accomplish an amazing amount of work. Read more…
AAA and ADA Meet with UHC/hi HealthInnovations
Yesterday, January 31, 2012, members of leadership and staff from the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) met with representatives from United Healthcare and hi HealthInnovations. This meeting was prompted by correspondence sent jointly by AAA and ADA in October 2011 to Drs. Lisa Tseng and Rhonda Medows regarding new policies surrounding a United Healthcare hearing benefit, which incorporate internet hearing tests as well as internet hearing aid sales.

Both AAA and ADA gleaned significant insight about the hi HealthInnovations hearing benefit business model from this comprehensive meeting. AAA and ADA were given an opportunity to present detailed questions and express the views of our membership. We are currently awaiting follow-up materials from UHC and continuing the dialogue among our respective organizations, but will provide detailed information and additional resources as soon as we are able. For additional background information on this matter, click here.
JFLAC 2012 Coming in September
Jerger Future Leaders of Audiology Conference (JFLAC) 2012 has been scheduled for September 13–15, 2012, at the Academy Headquarters in Reston, VA. Following AudiologyNOW!, announcements will be made regarding submission of applications.
Academy Task Force Publishes Report on Central Presbycusis
The task force's charge was to review the body of evidence surrounding the existence of age-related declines in central auditory processes and the consequences of any such declines for everyday communication and function. Read more…
Compensation and Benefits Survey Results Available
The Academy conducted its Compensation and Benefits Survey in 2011 and the survey results are now available. The 2011 survey provides total compensation data for audiologists by full-time and part-time status while another section of the survey looks at how an audiologist is paid. Read more…
JAAA Editor's Award
The 2012 JAAA Editor's Award will be presented to William G. Beck, PhD, and Craig Newman, PhD, on Thursday, March 29, 2012, at the Honors and Awards banquet during AudiologyNOW! 2012 in Boston. The award is given on an annual basis to one or two members of the editorial board of the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology (JAAA) for outstanding contributions to the peer review of the journal. Awardees Beck and Newman were chosen in late 2011 by then Editor-in-Chief James Jerger, PhD, and will be honored at the banquet by current Editor-in-Chief Gary Jacobson, PhD. Read more…
Practice Management Tip of the Month: Stay on Top of New Hearing Aid Technology
Educate yourself or call manufacturer's with questions regarding what is new and how it may benefit your patients. Use your database to contact and update those patients who returned, were difficult to fit, or are looking for any new features that can really improve their overall quality of life. Read more…
Academy Business Meeting at AudiologyNOW! 2012
What's on your mind? Audiology Means Business: You are a part of it, and here's your chance to be heard! Come to the Academy Business Meeting on March 31 at 1:00pm. Using a new format, this year's meeting will give you the opportunity to submit questions in advance for discussion at the meeting. Look for information in the March AT ENews on submitting your questions and/or comments for Academy leaders and staff.
Now Accepting Scholarship Applications!
The AAA Foundation offers several scholarships for audiology students (AuD, PhD, AuD/PhD) and encourages qualified individuals to apply. Application deadline is April 30 for the 2012–13 academic year. Read more…
Win a Suite During AudiologyNOW!: AAA Foundation "SuiteHeart" Contest Ends February 14
The AAA Foundation is especially "sweet" on its generous donors! That's why we will give one "SuiteHeart" donor a special prize for AudiologyNOW! 2012: free accommodations for four nights (March 28–31) in a one bedroom VIP suite at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. These beautiful accommodations were donated to the Foundation for this SuiteHeart fund raiser, and we're excited to pass along this opportunity to you! For eligibility requirements, read more…
Audiology's Got Talent! Showcase Yours…and Support Student Scholarships!
Looking to share your entertaining talents to support a good cause? Submit your videotaped performance and your act might be featured during "Audiology's Got Talent" at Oticon's Rock NOW Benefit Gala. This talent-packed evening will raise money for the AAA Foundation's Empowering People Scholarship program. Deadline to submit your talent-packed video is March 1. Read more…
NEW! ABA Certificant Hospitality Lounge at AudiologyNOW! 2012
Do you hold an ABA certification? If your answer is "yes," come take advantage of the new board certificant hospitality lounge on-site in Boston.
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Charging stations for your smart phone, iPad, or laptop
  • Club-style seating with lounge chairs and tables to meet and network
  • Central location to all session rooms and the food court
  • Open Wednesday through Saturday
The ABA would like to thank a sponsor of the ABA certificantl lounge, Audiology Talk, The Podcast for Audiologists.
2012 Update on Quality Measures Audiologists Can Report in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS)
For 2012, audiologists are eligible to report on a total of four PQRS measures—three existing measures and one new measure—resulting in a 0.5 percent bonus for all allowable Medicare charges. Audiologists are encouraged to begin reporting or continue to report on these measures in 2012 to monitor the quality of care practices in their offices.

Below, the Academy provides the title and clinical guidelines for each of the four quality measures available to audiologists. Each measure is also accompanied by what we term a "toolbox," including the measure description, reporting specification and data worksheet to assist audiologists with this process.
  • How to Get Started in PQRI: A Step by Step Process
  • PQRS measures on which audiologists participating in Medicare Part B may report:
    • Measure #188: Referral for Otologic Evaluation for Patients with Congenital or Traumatic Deformity of the Ear
    • Measure #189: Referral for Otologic Evaluation for Patients with a History of Active Drainage from the Ear Within the Previous 90 Days
    • Measure #190: Referral for Otologic Evaluation for Patients with a History of Sudden or Rapidly Progressive Hearing Loss
    • Measure #261: Referral for Otologic Evaluation for Patients with Acute or Chronic Dizziness
A Guide to Itemizing Your Professional Services
Many audiologists are considering a change in their office billing practices to separately itemize the hearing instruments and the professional fees that are associated with the fitting and follow-up care for these devices. In response to member interest in this topic, a document was developed by the American Academy of Audiology as a guide to itemizing professional services, including detailed information on developing a business plan, dealing with insurance companies, and a breakdown of different hearing services claim submission examples for your review. Read More…
Hearing Aid Services Survey
Resources such as the guide noted above, is the Academy's response to members' needs. Yesterday you received a survey inquiring about your hearing aid billing practices and your commercial payer experiences. Please take just a few minutes of your time to help us create resources that will be useful in your clinical practice. To access the survey, go here

Additional Academy Resources on Itemization/Unbundling
…digital copiers can store personal information forever? Many digital copiers, especially those manufactured since 2002, store images of all transmissions. Without proper disposal of those copiers, destruction of the hard drive or encryption of the data such as confidential patient tests, records could be accessed. For more information see:
Audiologist Beth Israel Deaconess Healthcare Chestnut Hill, MA
Dispensing Audiologist Reno Hearing Center Reno, NV

Browse audiology jobs and post your resume for free at
February 15
eAudiology Web Seminar—Assessing Hearing Aid Candidacy and Managing Hearing Loss

February 23–25
NHCA 37th Annual Hearing Conference, New Orleans, LA

February 25–29
ARO Mid-Winter Meeting, San Diego, CA

February 29
eAudiology Web Seminar—Infection Control for the Hearing Healthcare Practice

March 7
eAudiology Web Seminar—Expecting More: Ethical and Best Practices in Humanitarian Efforts

March 7
American Balance Society, Scottsdale, AZ

March 8–10
American Auditory Society, Scottsdale, AZ

March 12–16
Tinnitus & Hyperacusis Therapy Master Class, Birkbeck College, University of London—London, UK
POC: Hashir Aazh.

March 13
eAudiology Web Seminar—Coding and Reimbursement Series: Insurance 101

March 28
Academy Research Conference 2012 , Boston, MA

March 28–31
AudiologyNOW! 2012, Boston, MA

March 30
eAudiology Web Seminar—A Discussion about Clinical Decision Making, Report Writing, the Electronic Medical Record and Audiology Competencies

March 30
eAudiology Web Seminar—Marion Downs Lecture in Pediatric Audiology: The Dilemma of Dizziness in Children


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