What is needed to have comprehensive hearing assessments covered by insurers? Elizabeth Tracey reports
Helping someone whose hearing is compromised requires not just hearing aids but an assessment of the hearing loss and instruction on how to use the devices. That’s according to Frank Lin, an otolaryngologist at Johns Hopkins, who’s just published a study demonstrating the benefits of hearing aids in those at risk for cognitive decline. Lin says all three components are important.
Lin: Those audiologist support service, that's not covered by insurance, so the bitter pill to swallow is that as promising as this trial is now and as powerful as is that exact hearing intervention delivered in this trial, in the United states showing 50% reduction, that treatment is not covered by Medicare at all. That’s depressing and we've gotten close I mean OTC hearing aids is going to innovate the market. Two years ago with the Build Back Better bill in Congress we got close to including Medicare hearing benefit so we think there may be another window now to reintroduce that. :28
Lin urges people to contact their representatives to advocate for insurer coverage of complete hearing intervention. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.