As you may have heard, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the governing body that runs Medicare, is proposing to eliminate the coverage for bone anchored hearing devices in 2015. The proposal’s aim is to classify bone anchored hearing systems as hearing aids, which are specifically not covered under Medicare. If this proposal is passed, it will effectively terminate all Medicare coverage for new bone anchored implant surgeries as well as terminate funding for replacement processors for current bone anchored implant users under Medicare.
Equally disturbing is the potential ripple effect this proposal will have on non-governmental private payers and state Medicaid policies. These groups routinely look to Medicare as the standard for their policies and use Medicare coverage guidelines for justification of coverage, or removal of coverage for treatment options. It is not overstating a concern to say if this proposal passes, coverage for everyone using a bone anchored system is threatened.
Oticon Medical is putting all of our possible resources into fighting this proposal. We are working with our legal counsel, leading physicians, professional organizations, and patient advocacy groups to make sure CMS knows the positive impact that bone anchored hearing systems have on the men, women and children who rely on them every day.
Many of you have already reached out to us and asked what you can do to help. It is critical that your voices are heard and that you let CMS and the governing bodies know how important this treatment is to you and the lives of your loved ones.
The government has opened up this proposal for comments and we are strongly encouraging you to do just that. A submission form is available online at the link below.
When making your comments, it’s important to include:
- A brief background on you or your loved one’s condition. Explain what makes you a candidate for bone anchored device(s).
- Any previously tried/failed treatments and why a “hearing aid” was not of benefit.
- How a bone anchored device has impacted your hearing and life.
- What would happen if you did not have the device.
- How the lack of an osseointegrated bone anchored solution would affect your ability to work.
- The necessity of having replacement processors covered and the ability to get devices repaired when needed.
To register your comments use the following link: https://www.regulations.gov/#!searchResults;rpp=25;po=0;s=15840;fp=true;ns=true and comment under proposed rule:
Thank you for your support in this cause. If you have any questions regarding the proposed rule or need assistance submitting your comments, please contact us.