Hearing Aids

Hearing Aids

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 asian wife being surprised with anniversary gift from asian husband

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)

Neurocognitive Deficits in Children with Hearing Loss After Cancer Treatment

In a recent study on survivors of childhood cancers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Bess et al (2020) report an increased risk for neurocognitive deficits in children who have hearing loss after treatment. 

The study sample of 1,512 cancer survivors was separated into groups based on the degree of hearing loss and type of cancer treatment. The three groups included those who received cisplatin and/or carboplatin chemotherapy, cochlear radiotherapy (RT) with or without platinum-based chemotherapy, or no exposure. 

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Beethoven: His Hearing Loss and His Hearing Aids

The year 2020 is the 250th anniversary of the birth of the great classical composer, Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). There is no authentic record of his actual date of birth, however the registry of his baptism in the Catholic parish of St. Remigius was on December 17, 1770.

To recognize this historical occasion, Perciaccante et al (2020) provide a review of Beethoven’s hearing loss and his use of hearing instruments of the time.

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A photographic illustration of 8 types of hearing devices

From Hearing Aids to Cochlear Implants: The State of Wireless Technology

Over the last 10 years, wireless technology has been a driver of innovation in hearing aids and cochlear implants. Today, our counseling narratives almost universally include discussion of the features and benefits that are enabled by wireless connectivity—it’s been a short trip from novelty to normal. This article reviews the evolution of ear-level wireless technologies and summarizes the landscape across hearing aids and cochlear implants. 

Topic(s): Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants (CI), Magnetic induction and radio frequency (RF), near-field magnetic induction (NFMI), Bluetooth

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Publication Issue: Audiology Today July/August 2020

Abstract Illustration of group building a process of providing Cochlear Implants into your practice

Cochlear Implants in Private Practice…My Practice?

The world of cochlear implants (CIs) is evolving. What was once a treatment pathway for a limited population of patients with profound hearing impairment has expanded to include individuals with moderate to severe hearing loss. CI technology, which began as basic sound processing through an electrode array, has grown to include Bluetooth streaming and cell phone connectivity. 

Topic(s): Cochlear Implants (CI), CI, Hearing Impairment (HI), Hearing Loss, Hearing Aids

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Publication Issue: Audiology Today July/August 2020

A New Solution for Hearing Speech Amidst Noise

The Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology in Germany is wrapping up a three-year research project that could address the most common complaint we hear in audiology—understanding speech-in-noise.

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Hearing Aids and Cognitive Function

The relationship between hearing loss and cognitive status has long been recognized with significant work in the early 1980s. Nonetheless, the complexity of hearing loss, complexity of cognitive function, and predominance cross-sectional work has limited ability to confirm or deny a causal relationship. If a relationship exists, causal or not, it is plausible that treatment of hearing loss may reduce risk or mitigate evidence of cognitive decline with age.

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There’s an App for That

The University of Michigan is rolling out a new Apple app for a hearing study that will measure the user’s environmental and headphone sound exposures over time. 

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JAAA Table of Contents (February 2020)

Vol. 31, No. 2 (February 2020) of the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology (JAAA) is now available online.

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