AT News September 2012
From the President
Let Me Hear from You: It's Time for Fall PlanningBy Deborah Carlson, PhD
The year 2013 will be upon us before we know it. Take some time this month to plan your fall activities, public awareness events, and professional advocacy efforts. As individuals, working together, we continue to promote audiologists as the preferred providers for hearing and balance wellness. Read more…
In the News
Newly Published! Audiologic Guidelines for the Assessment of Hearing in Infants and Young ChildrenThe American Academy of Audiology supports early identification, assessment, and intervention for all types of hearing loss in infants and young children to minimize deleterious effects on speech, language, education, and social/psychological development. These clinical practice guidelines describe recommended practices for this assessment of auditory function in children. Read more…
Academy Develops Quick Reference Guide for Audiologists in the Direct-to-Consumer Hearing Aid ModelThis guide includes a variety of tools to assist Academy members in preparing for and existing within this paradigm shift in health-care delivery. Additional materials, currently under development by Academy volunteers, will be available soon. Read more…
AudiologyNOW! 2013 Call for Presentations Is OpenSubmit to the call for presentations to help Innovate the Future of Audiology. Read more…
SAA YouTube Contest 2012In honor of October as National Audiology Awareness Month, the Academy is hosting a contest for all SAA chapters to help raise awareness. The contest requires the participating chapters to create a video and then post it on YouTube with the theme of "Celebrating 25 Years of Audiology". The grand prize is $250 courtesy of the AAA Foundation. All of the videos will be judged and the winner will be announced in mid-October. Read more…
October Is National Audiology Awareness Month and National Protect Your Hearing MonthGet active in your local community now so that you can be ready to promote the audiology profession next month. Order the Turn It to the Left CD for free (until supplies last) during the months of September and October and use these other resources and tools on our Web site to get the word out.
Academy Membership Renewals Now OpenSave time and eliminate paying one more expense during the high-cost holiday season. Renew online by December 31, 2012, and receive special discounts and a chance to win free registration to AudiologyNOW! 2013. Read more…
The Academy Office Is MovingAs of October 29, 2012, the Academy office in Reston, VA, will be moving down the road to 11480 Commerce Park Drive, Suite 220, Reston, VA, 20191. Our 800-number (800-222-2336) , direct dial phone numbers, and fax number will remain the same.
Ethics in Audiology: 2nd Edition Now Available!Newly revised with more in-depth information on ethical conduct in clinical, educational, and research settings, order your copy today from the Academy Store. E-version coming soon. Read more…
Practice Management Tip of the Month: Keeping a Current Web SiteA business Web site can be a valuable resource to patients by providing information about technology, research, and your practice. Keep your site updated by adding new content each month. Consider an "In the News" section that includes monthly specials, new technology releases, and events. Also provide information about your practice, your providers, and staff to add a personal touch. Read more…
AAA Foundation Announces 2012–2013 Scholarship RecipientsThe AAAF received scholarship applications from many outstanding students. We are pleased to congratulate this year's scholarship recipients: Nicole Corbin ($1,000 Roger Ruth Memorial Scholarship), Alexandra Parbery-Clark ($1,000 Sadanand Singh Memorial Scholarship), and Hilary Davis, Diana Guercio, Star Lange-Richey, Caitlin Sapp, and Sarah Weber ($5,000 Empowering People Scholarship). Well done!
Funding Opportunities for New and Future Scientists—Applications Due October 1, 2012Supported by the AAA Foundation, these opportunities are available through the Academy's Research Grants in Hearing and Balance program for new and future scientists. Read more…
Coding, Reimbursement, and Compliance
Coding, Reimbursement, and Compliance E-NewsComing this October, the Coding and Reimbursement Committee, the Practice Compliance Committee, and the Practice Policy Advisory Council, along with applicable Academy staff, have developed a stand-alone monthly e-newsletter featuring the latest news and updates from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other federal agencies, educational resources addressing coding, coverage and payment for audiology services, ICD-10 transition, compliance with fraud and abuse laws, HIPAA updates, and so much more. Look for the e-newsletter in your e-mail boxes on the second Wednesday of the month.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Announces Regional Teleconferences to Discuss State ExchangesThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced regional teleconference meetings to educate providers and seek feedback with regard to Health Insurance Marketplaces, Exchanges and expanded coverage for the uninsured. These programs are being implemented as part of the Affordable Care Act (health-care reform bill) which was signed into law in March of 2010. Additional information including meeting schedules and registration information may be found here.
Academy Submits Response to CMS Regarding Medicare Fee Schedule ProposalThe Academy submitted its official comment letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule. Among other comments, the Academy urged the agency to continue to work with Congress in establishing a permanent and viable solution to the SGR formula that will result in fair payment for audiology services provided, requested that CMS reconsider the retirement of a hearing health quality measure encouraging medical evaluation for patients with a history of sudden or rapidly progressive hearing loss, and sought greater clarity and transparency regarding a proposal to apply a payment reduction when certain professionals, including audiologists, do not report on at least one quality measure under the Physician Quality Reporting System. Read the Academy's Comment Letter to CMS.
Physician Quality Reporting System UpdateAccording to the proposed 2013 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule rule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will deduct 1.5 percent per claim from all 2015 Part B payments to eligible providers who do not meet the satisfactory reporting requirements. All providers, including audiologists, must report on at least one applicable PQRS measure for Medicare covered services in 2013 to avoid the claim payment reductions in 2015.
The Academy, ASHA, and ADA have developed a step-by-step PQRS resource guide on how to report on the PQRS measures. The Academy will continue to update members on the specific measures and reporting requirements once the final rule is published on or around November 1, 2012.
Audiologists Not Eligible Professionals Under Medicare EHR Incentive ProgramA recent publication suggested that audiologists may be penalized for non-compliance with federal Electronic Health Records (EHR) initiatives. Currently, audiologists are not recognized as eligible professionals within the Medicare or Medicaid EHR programs and, therefore, currently do not qualify for the financial incentives and are not subject to the meaningful use requirements to adopt certified EHR technology by the end of 2015. It is important to note that physicians are listed as eligible professionals under these programs, so audiologists employed by physicians may be familiar with Medicare or Medicaid EHR incentive programs. For more details, see the Academy's EHR Compliance page.
CMS Announces October 1, 2014 as New Compliance Date for ICD-10 TransitionOn August 24, 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced in a final rule that the ICD-10 diagnosis code system will have a one-year delay from the previously announced implementation date of October 1, 2013, to October 1, 2014. The Academy continues to provide helpful educational resources to help your practice transition on its ICD-10 Web page and we will provide a sample Superbill/Encounter Form template with ICD-10 codes pertinent to audiologists in the near future.
Enrollment Application Can Now Be Completed Entirely OnlineThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently upgraded the online enrollment process known as the Provider Enrollment Chain, Ownership System (PECOS), allowing the entire enrollment process to be completed online. Previously, documentation such as state licenses and degrees needed to be physically mailed, but documents can now be submitted electronically when completing the enrollment application. Audiologists providing services to Medicare beneficiaries must be enrolled in the Medicare program. To enroll, go to PECOS.
Browse audiology jobs and post your resume for free at www.HEARCareers.org.
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