2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Summary

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued for public inspection on August 4 the proposed rule on the 2021 PFS.

Samuel R. Atcherson photographed in a Clear Face Mask

More Speech Degradations and Considerations in the Search for Transparent Face Coverings During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Because of COVID-19 and broad mandates to wear face coverings, there are numerous local, state, and national conversations regarding communication access for individuals who are deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) in school, hospital, and public settings. Although there was an initial shortage and concerns about meeting global demands, we have witnessed, in a short period, rapid production of various types of masks and shields intended for use by either the public or health workers, including masks with clear (transparent) windows. 

Topic(s): COVID-19, face coverings, face shield, clinical care, Speech degradation, PPE, personal protective equipment

AHA, AMA, and ANA Urge Public to Wear Masks

The American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Medical Association (AMA), and American Nurses Association (ANA) released a public service announcement (PSA) today (July 31) urging the American public to take three simple steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19: wear a mask, practice physical distancing and wash hands frequently. 

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Audiological Profile of Asymptomatic COVID-19 PCR-Positive Cases

Despite ongoing research on COVID-19, there is much to learn about its effects on the auditory system in individuals who are symptomatic and asymptomatic.

In a recent article, Mustafa (2020) examined the impact of COVID-19 on the auditory system in 20, 20- to 50-year-old adults, who were confirmed positive for COVID-19, asymptomatic, and had no history of hearing loss. 

The experimental and a control group of 20 subjects completed an otological examination, basic audiological evaluation, immittance evaluation, and transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs). 

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Coding and Reimbursement: Telehealth


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illustration of scotland flag and studying abroad items

ONLINE FEATURE | Getting Started: Studying Audiology Abroad

A majority of my life has been spent in pursuit of education; however, now I am seeing that chapter quickly coming to an end as I finish my second year of the master of science in audiology program at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, Scotland. 

Topic(s): global, studying abroad, Professional, worldwide, audiology, COVID-19, clinical education, clinical care


Publication Issue: Audiology Today July/August 2020

Coronavirus: Why We’re Investigating the Long-Term Impact on Hearing

Despite the multitude of ongoing research studies on COVID-19, there are many unknowns about the disease. What is known, however, is that it is more than just a simple lung infection.

Current research suggests that the respiratory system is not the lone organ system bearing long-term effects from the disease. COVID-19 may impact cardiovascular, immune, and nervous systems. Coronaviruses also may cause peripheral neuropathy or Guillain-Barré syndrome, both of which could result in auditory neuropathy.

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Dizziland On Trend image

ON TREND | A New Path to Clinical and Financial Balance

During these unprecedented times, as the country safely begins its journey toward economic normalcy, we're faced with challenges that will require bold solutions. Even before the pandemic, audiologists who relied on hearing services were feeling market pressure from third-party payers, online retailers, big-box stores, and OTC hearing aids. Now, with un-shuttering, many audiology practices are scrambling to find clinical balance and business stability.

Topic(s): clinical education, COVID-19, Advanced Vestibular Treatment (AVT), AVT, Advanced Vestibular Treatment, vestibular rehabilitation

Publication Issue: Audiology Today July/August 2020

The FDA Withdraws Emergency Approval for the Malaria Drug Hydroxychloroquine

On Monday, June 15, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration removed the Emergency Authorization Use (EAU) of two malaria drugs to treat COVID-19, saying that they are “unlikely to be effective.”

Both hydroxychloroquine (brand name Plaquenil) and chloroquine were heavily promoted by President Trump after a handful of small, poorly controlled studies showed that they could work in treating the disease.

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Dietary Supplements Used for COVID-19 Treatment

By Robert M. DiSogra

Along with other professionals, audiologists must also be vigilant in their patient care—especially during their case history review— to counsel their patients about the extremely limited safety and efficacy information about dietary supplements as it pertains to COVID-19.

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