The Georgia Academy of Audiology is a professional organization of audiologists and friends of the audiology community that promotes quality hearing and balance care by advancing the profession of audiology through leadership, advocacy, education, public awareness, and support of research.*
Alice Cellino, Au.D., 2016-17 GAA President
Happy Fall, Georgia Audiologists!
Kids are back in school, the weather is (supposed to be) cooler, and we are pushing towards the end of 2016. I hope the year has been good for you. Take a minute to read these GAA updates, and let us hear from you if we’ve overlooked something important.
Get ready for ICD-10 Changes, effective October 1, 2016. Remember, October 1, 2016 ends the Medicare grace period for use of unspecified codes. Also avoid the use of Z codes as primary diagnosis codes; the Academy of Doctors of Audiology has a useful webinar regarding ICD-10 changes at audiologist.org/events/webinars
∑ Your Georgia Academy is partnering with the American Academy of Audiology, the American Speech- Language-Hearing Association, and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology to fight the “Fit to Serve” legislation (H.R. 353 and S. 564), which would add hearing aid specialists to the list of professionals in Title 38 of the U.S. Code who are eligible to provide hearing healthcare services to veterans. With the exception of a few positions created specifically for the VA, the professions listed in Title 38 have at least two years of college-level training, and include specialists such as audiologists, physicians, dentists, optometrists, registered nurses, etc. The consensus of the audiology community is that hearing aid specialists do not belong in Title 38, as there are no national standards or educational requirements for becoming a hearing instrument specialist. On August 31, we met with Senator Johnny Isakson (Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee) and expressed our concern and opposition of Senate bill 564. The meeting was favorable and I think Senator Isakson was supportive of us. On September 12, HR 3471 “The Veterans Mobility Safety Act of 2015” passed, and was called an important first step in preventing hearing aid dispensers from expanding their scope of practice within the VA system and ensuring that veterans continue to receive the highest standard of audiologic care provided by, and under the direction of, qualified audiologists. Under the Veterans Mobility Safety Act, the following patient protections have been adopted:
(b) REQUIREMENTS.—With respect to appointing hearing aid specialists under sections 7401 and
7402 of title 38, United States Code, as amended by subsection (a), and providing services furnished by such specialists, the Secretary shall ensure that—
1.a hearing aid specialist may only perform hearing services consistent with the hearing aid specialist's State license related to the practice of fitting and dispensing hearing aids without excluding other qualified professionals, including audiologists, from rendering services in overlapping practice areas;
2.services provided to veterans by hearing aid specialists shall be provided as part of the non- medical treatment plan developed by an audiologist; and
3.the medical facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs provide to veterans access to the full range of professional services provided by an audiologist.
(c) CONSULTATION.—In determining the qualifications required for hearing aid specialists and in carrying out subsection (b), the Secretary shall consult with veterans service organizations, audiologists,
otolaryngologists, hearing aid specialists, and other stakeholder and industry groups as the Secretary determines appropriate.
The American Academy of Audiology, The Academy of Doctors of Audiology and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association have collectively teamed to monitor all legislative activity regarding this issue, and will continue to update constituents accordingly
Save the Date! The Georgia Academy of Audiology’s Annual Convention is February 2- 3, 2017 at the Georgia Tech Learning Center. Get ready to shake things up a bit this year! For a $50 REGISTRATION DISCOUNT, register on Cyber Monday (November 28, 2016) through the GAA Website.
This summer, the Georgia Academy of Audiology Executive Committee found itself in a unique position with the un-expected resignation of our original 2016-2017 President Elect. But it is with great excitement that we announce that Kate Marr, AuD has been elected as our President-Elect. Her energy and enthusiasm are wonderful and we are grateful that she has committed her time and knowledge to GAA. Lori Smith and I will remain Past-President and President this year as we introduce Kate to the process. We also welcome new Executive Board members Andrea Webster, AuD (Treasurer) and Lacey Behn, AuD (Secretary-Elect), as well as Board Members Lyn Rushton, AuD, Sara Wooley, AuD, and Doug Lorber, AuD
Save The Date 2017 GAA Convention February 2nd and 3rd!
Click Here: GAA 2017 Program Schedule
**Dr. Rita Chaiken President of Academy Doctors of Audiology, presented an update on lobbying efforts and progress on supporting HR 2519 . Please review her presentation and communicate with your representatives to support and pass this very critical audiology bill!!! ADA 2016 Presentation