AT News January 2012
From the President
Let Me Hear from You: 2012—Imagine the PossibilitiesBy Therese Walden, AuD
When I stop to think about all the potential the year 2012 holds in store for me personally and professionally, I am just thrilled! Personally: Brian and I will celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary; our daughter Kelly will graduate from high school; I plan on playing enough golf to rack up a second hole-in-one; I look forward to voting in the 2012 national and local elections; I look forward to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London; and with my new Kindle Fire, I will catch up on reading the classics and the NY Times best-sellers. Professionally, I am looking forward to many things in 2012: AN! 2012 in Boston at the end of March; the Academy elections in February; the JAAA editorship under Gary Jacobson and co-editor Devin McCaslin; support (and passage!) of H.R. 2140 (Direct Access legislation); and working with the Academy’s Committees, our A4 partners (AAAF, ABA, ACAE, SAA), and our allied associations to advance the profession so we can be there to care for our patients. Read more…
In the News
Save Money on AudiologyNOW! RegistrationAudiologyNOW! ® 2012—Register by January 18 to save money! Go to www.audiologynow.org for session listings, event details, and travel information.
Academy Responds to USPSTFIn December 2011, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) invited comments on their Screening for Hearing Loss in Older Adults draft recommendation statement. Academy President Therese Walden submitted a response on behalf of the Academy. View the Academy’s response.
ABA Specialty Certification NewsThe ABA will be administering the Pediatric Audiology Specialty Certification (PASC) and the Cochlear Implant Specialty Certification exams at AudiologyNOW! in Boston on April 1, 2012. Applications are due February 1, 2012! For complete details and an application, visit the ABA Web site.
U.S. House and Senate Unable to Agree on Bill Averting Medicare CutsThe U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate were unable to reach an agreement on a bill to extend the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, prior to its expiration on January 1, 2012.
Upon their return this month, Congress is expected to reach an agreement to stave off the greater than 27 percent cuts facing Medicare due to the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. As such, effective January 1, 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has asked Medicare contractors to hold claims until that agreement is reached. This may result in delayed reimbursement from Medicare. Other measures in the bill that remain unaddressed due to Congress’ inability to reach consensus are the payroll tax cut and the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, among others.
Academy members are encouraged to check with your Medicare contractor for additional information and the Academy will continue to provide updates as they are available. Please also urge your representatives to pass a long term solution to the SGR formula by visiting the Academy’s Legislative Action Center.
Academy Comments on Palmetto Vestibular Function Testing LCDThe Academy submitted a comment letter to Palmetto GBA on December 5, 2011, in response to a restrictive Local Coverage Determination (LCD) for vestibular testing. The main message in the letter was that while the Academy supports clarifying vestibular testing and related codes, many of Palmetto’s policies are overly restrictive and appear to be based on over-utilization by professions other than audiology but unfairly penalize audiologists. Academy member Alan Desmond, AuD, provided significant scientific evidence, literature, and historical information to support the Academy’s comment letter.
Academy Meets with UHC Regarding OAE Testing Coverage PoliciesThe Academy has received feedback from members about the restriction of OAE testing services under UHC’s commercial policy (Oxford) and Medicaid Community and State coverage policy. The policy limits OAE testing services to children from birth to three years of age unless the billing professional uses certain diagnosis codes when testing older individuals. On December 19, 2011, Academy staff and leadership met with the UHC Medical Director responsible for this policy to educate UHC and open a dialogue with them on this issue. The Academy will continue to work with UHC on this matter and keep members apprised of any developments.
FCC Passes Rules Regulating Loud TV CommercialsThe Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has passed the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act one year after Congress passed legislation by the same name. Congress directed the FCC to promulgate and adopt enforcement rules to ensure that TV commercials would air at the same noise level as regular TV programming. Cable and satellite operators, along with local broadcasters, will be required to regulate commercial volumes beginning in December 2012.
Ring in 2012 with a $112 contribution to the Academy’s Political Action Committee (PAC)!Your $112 contribution will help us advance our direct access legislation (H.R. 2140) in the 112th Congress in the year 2012. How’s that for a magic number? Are you interested in attending the Boston Beer and Chowda PAC event at AudiologyNOW!? Make your $112 contribution for 2012 by clicking here and receive a ticket to this event. To reserve your ticket, contact Kate Thomas, assistant director of regulatory and legislative affairs, at 202-544-9336.
Practice Management Tip of the Month: Spruce Up
With the New Year, take time to spruce up your office. Recycle old papers, magazines and have the most current information available for your patients to read. Consider having some refreshments to offer. Make sure your office is presentable. You want to leave your patient with a good impression – why not start as soon as they arrive? Read more...
Audiology Today Erratum
In the Nov/Dec 2011 issue of Audiology Today, Perspectives article, "It's the Output!" by David Hawkins, PhD, we inadvertently published Figure 2 with incorrect information. Figure 2 should have included white arrows, as indicated in the caption and should not have included the white stars. We apologize for this oversight and have republished the corrected figures online on page 67 of the issue. Read more...
Donate an Auction Item to Support the AAA Foundation!Your in-kind donation can help us make this our biggest auction yet! The AAA Foundation is looking for unique items, electronics, getaway packages, gift certificates, collectibles, and other items for its annual online Auction 4 Audiology during AudiologyNOW! 2012. Read more…
Win a Suite During AudiologyNOW! with the AAA Foundation “SuiteHeart” Contest: Now through February 14The 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…
Announcing Two AAA Foundation-Funded Educational Sessions at AudiologyNOW!The AAA Foundation is pleased to announce that Candace Bertotti, MPA, will presentInfluencer: How to Create Change in Your Audiology Workplace asthe 2012 Improving Patient Care through Innovation in Workplace Management Lecture (supported by Phonak) and Linda Luxon, PhD, will present The Dilemma of Dizziness in Children as the 2012 Marion Downs Lecture in Pediatric Audiology (supported by The Oticon Foundation). More details coming soon!
Coding, Reimbursement, and Compliance
Changes Starting January 1, 2012
Academy Opposes CMS Valuation of OAE codes
Browse audiology jobs and post your resume for free at www.HEARCareers.org.
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