Audiology and Otology Guidance During COVID-19: A U.K. Guide

On January 15, 2021, a collaborative group of audiology professional bodies in the United Kingdom released an updated version of a document titled Audiology and Otology Guidance During COVID-19.

The document begins by stating that services should be offered in line with any local employer guidelines; however, a range of audiological services are recommended including face-to-face appointments as well as communication via digital communication (i.e., telephone, video, email).

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Photo and illustration collage of growing plant with audiology equipment

Planning Effective Remote Clinical Education

During spring 2020, higher education faced drastic changes to education delivery due to the coronavirus  pandemic. The rapid change challenged clinical education goals due to clinic closures and the cessation of student participation in patient care and hands-on laboratory experiences. 

The clinical coordination team at The University of Texas at Dallas focused on the clinical education of its AuD students and telehealth service delivery, embracing that this journey could improve student education and patient care beyond simply the bare minimum. 

Topic(s): clinical education, Telehealth

AuD speaking with elderly patient via Tele-audiology

CODING AND REIMBURSEMENT | Specialty Series: Telehealth

In the era of COVID-19, it has become increasingly important to use different methods of clinical service provision to protect our patients’ health while still addressing their hearing, tinnitus, and vestibular health-care needs. 

As audiology clinics increase their use of telehealth as a method for patient care, audiologists must understand how such changes also impact coding and billing. This article will discuss considerations and provide examples of billing and coding for telehealth services for audiologists.

Topic(s): Coding, reimbursment, Telehealth, tele-audiology, telemedicine

Catherine Palmer, Academy President photo

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE | Real Change for Our Profession

On Friday, March 20, 2020, the entire group of audiologists I work with at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) was taking care of patients in person. Three days later, Monday, March 23, 2020, we were providing all of our services remotely. 

We had been thinking about expanding into telehealth over the past year, but we had all sorts of reasons why it wouldn’t, couldn’t, and shouldn’t work. And then one day, it had to work or we wouldn’t have been able to take care of our patients. 

Topic(s): President's Message, audiology, Telehealth, tele-audiology, teleaudiology, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), CARES Act, Medicare, cochlear implant codes, Cochlear Implants (CI)

Publication Issue: Audiology Today July/August 2020

USA map with specified highlighted states merged with soundwave line art

AUDIOLOGY ADVOCATE | Audiology/SLP State Licensure Compact: The Path Forward

In 2016, the National Council of State Boards of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (NCSB) formally began the multi-stage process for developing an occupational licensure compact for audiology and speech-language pathology. The NCSB worked with the National Center for Interstate Compacts (NCIC), a part of the Council of State Governments (CSG) that has successfully worked with other health-care professions to enact licensure compacts. 

Topic(s): Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), asha, Audiology Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact (ASLP-IC), ASLP-IC, Telehealth, tele-audiology, teleaudiology

Publication Issue: Audiology Today July/August 2020

Our Essential Role in Communication: Resources That Can Help

With May as Better Hearing Month, this is an important time to continue to highlight our essential role in communication and hearing health care. 

With this in mind, we have developed information pieces and resources you can use with your patients and/or share with your communities, colleagues, and other health-care providers as you see fit. 

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NHCA Best Practices for Safely Conducting Hearing Testing During COVID-19 Pandemic

Academy representative to the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA) Richard Danielson, PhD, shares the recently published NHCA guideline, Best Practices Guidelines for Safely Conducting Hearing Testing During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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Re-Opening in a Post-COVID World

By Jill McClelland

Re-opening your audiology practice after the COVID-19 pandemic can be both exciting and stressful for you and your patients. Being able to offer audiological services in a safe manner will be a step in the right direction to achieving our “new normal,” will reinstate some form of revenue for your practice, and most importantly, will bring much-needed service back to your patients who rely on their hearing to stay in touch with their family and friends, now more than ever.

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Telehealth Solutions: Google Meet

As of May 2020, Google Meet will be offering their video conferencing product for free.

This service offers the ability to schedule, screen share, and provide real-time captions. As more audiologists find themselves in the telehealth realm, it is essential to find effective ways to communicate with patients with hearing loss, and the speech-recognition software through Google Meet may be a viable solution for these patients.

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Tele-audiology in a Pandemic and Beyond: Flexibility and Suitability in Audiology Practice

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