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ACADEMY NEWS | Academy Awards Two Music Research Grants

In spring 2020, the Academy’s Research Initiatives Committee launched the new Music and Hearing Research Grant Program. Funded by the American Academy of Audiology Foundation (AAAF) through the generous sponsorship support of Dr. Michael Santucci, this program supports research that will expand the body of knowledge to shape best practices in this area of audiology practice.

Topic(s): Hearing Loss, Music and Hearing Research Grant Program, American Academy of Audiology Foundation (AAAF), in-ear monitor (IEM)

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Publication Issue: Audiology Today November/December 2020

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AUDIOLOGY ADVOCATE | Advocacy in the Time of COVID-19

The current pandemic has upended virtually all aspects of our lives: work, interaction with family and friends, schooling, travel, and finances. However, Congress and federal and state agencies have continued working under these extraordinary conditions to respond to the myriad of financial and health-care-related crises created      by COVID-19.  

Topic(s): audiology, Advocacy

Illustration of coding and reimbursement for audiology

CODING AND REIMBURSEMENT | Deciphering Medicare Advantage Hearing Benefits

Introduction to the Medicare Advantage Program

The Medicare Part C Program was developed following passage of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and went into effect in January of 1999. With identified gaps in coverage for Medicare beneficiaries, the addition of an optional Medicare program permitted the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to contract with private or public agencies to provide additional Medicare options for beneficiaries who wished to seek coverage in addition to original Medicare’s Part A and B benefits. 

Topic(s): Coding, Reimbursement, audiology, Hearing Aids, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

Photo of hearing aids with  Alport syndrome awareness bracelet

ON TREND | Alport Syndrome Awareness: Hearing Loss Caused by Kidney Disease

Remember the words Alport syndrome from your textbooks? Perhaps this seemed an attempt to stump you on an exam. As an audiologist and Alport patient with hearing loss, I hope to emphasize the role audiologists can play in helping provide critical early diagnosis for patients. 

Alport syndrome is a rare, genetic renal disease, often accompanied by hearing loss. The mechanism of hearing loss remains understudied. Misdiagnosis is common. Recent research suggests Alport syndrome may be more common than initially thought.

Topic(s): Alport syndrome, Hearing Loss

Photo of maie snowboarder falling

Computerized Dynamic Posturography: A Historical ‘Concussion Predictor’

History

A male patient in his early 30s, seen in the University of Mississippi Medical Center clinic in the summer of 2019, had sustained a head injury above his left eyebrow from a snowboarding accident in December 2017. He presented in our clinic with primary complaints of lightheadedness on a weekly basis, room-spinning vertigo every couple of days, presyncope and syncope every so often, floaters in his vision, and daily imbalance. 

Topic(s): computerized dynamic posturography (CDP), video head impulse testing (vHIT), videonystagmography (VNG), benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), sensory organization testing (SOT)

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Working Effectively with Audiology Students Who Are d/Deaf or Hard of Hearing: Tips for Clinical Preceptors

The clinical experience is a key component of education for students enrolled in doctor of audiology (AuD) programs. Throughout a variety of clinical rotations, students learn how to diagnose, treat, counsel, support, and empower patients with hearing loss. To become effective clinicians, students must be able to participate in and experience these rotations to the fullest. 

Topic(s): Education, hard of hearing (HOH)

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Health-Related Quality of Life and Hearing Aids

The negative impact of hearing loss on communication abilities, quality of life (QoL), social participation, and overall well-being is well documented (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2016). Audiological rehabilitation (AR) provides a holistic approach to lessening the impact of hearing loss and improving the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) through sensory management, instruction, perceptual training, and counseling (Boothroyd, 2007). 

Topic(s): Hearing Aids, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), quality of life (QoL)

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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE | Gratitude Unlocks the Fullness of Life

There have recently been many articles, books, and posts reminding us of the importance of gratitude to combat stress and improve resilience. The events of this past year have, for many, led to increased anxiety, grief, depression, stress, and isolation. At such times, it can be difficult to feel grateful. However, in such times, gratitude is most needed.  

Topic(s): audiology, COVID-19

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Publication Issue: Audiology Today November/December 2020

Illustration of group of audiologists spreading the word of audiology

FOCUS ON FOUNDATION | Public Awareness of Us

In 2002, Friends was one of the most watched shows on television, the Euro became the official currency of the European Union, and flip phones were the latest in cellular technology. At the time, “social media” was a foreign concept, the smartphone revolution was on the horizon with the growing popularity of the Blackberry, and the American Academy of Audiology Foundation (AAAF) was formed. 

Topic(s): Public Awareness, American Academy of Audiology Foundation (AAAF)

Photo of a magnifying glass laid on a sheet of codes

CODING AND REIMBURSEMENT | Increase Your Coding Specificity with New ICD-10-CM Codes

On October 1, 2016, new ICD-10-CM codes were released that increase the specificity of hearing loss codes, applying specifically to coding the type of hearing loss when it differs between ears. Previously, when the types of hearing loss differed between ears, audiologists were required to code an unspecified type of hearing loss for each ear and could not specify right versus left ears in this scenario (i.e. sensorineural hearing loss, unspecified; conductive hearing loss, unspecified; mixed hearing loss, unspecified).

Topic(s): Coding, Reimbursement