Advocacy in Action!
Whenever I meet audiology students and ask them to describe their take on the most pressing issues in audiology, advocacy always comes up as a response. It is clear we want to see the profession advance by increasing access to care, expanding our services, and growing awareness in our communities. Many regulations and legislations related to these topics are being discussed on both the state and federal level:
- The Medicare Access and Services Act would give audiologists additional opportunities under Medicare by reclassifying them as “practitioners,” allow Medicare patients direct access to audiologists, and expand covered audiologic services to include treatment.
- Ally’s Act (H.R. 477/S.41)would mandate private insurance coverage of implantable hearing devices (cochlear implants and bone anchored hearing aids) as deemed necessary for an individual by a physician or an audiologist.
- The Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact would allow participating states to facilitate the interstate practice of audiology and speech-language pathology while maintaining public protection.
With all these exciting proposed legislations and regulations, how can you get involved? See the following tips to make your mark on the future of audiology:
- Write a letter or email to your congressional leaders to show your support for specific bills and issues in audiology. You can find your congressperson and examples of ready-to-print template letters on the Academy website.
- Participate in National Day At Your State Capitol (NDAYSC) to spread the word about audiology and hearing health care with your congressional leaders. Read tips from previous audiology students on how to advocate!
- Donate to the American Academy of Audiology’s Political Action Committee (PAC). The purpose of the PAC is to support policy goals important to audiologists and the practice of audiology through the support of candidates for elective office; to promote better understanding among elected officials of the unique and important role of audiology in the delivery of high quality healthcare to patients; and to assist audiologists and others in organizing themselves for effective political action.
Share examples of how you helped advocate for the profession on social media. Be sure to tag the Student Academy of Audiology on Facebook and @StudentAcademyofAud on Instagram. This is an exciting time to be part of the audiology community! I’m looking forward to seeing the profession grow.
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