Audiology Platform Charts Course for Profession Audiology is in resurgence at ASHA. A sustained advocacy effort changed Medicare policy last fall to cover audiologic testing, even if the tests do not uncover a medically treatable condition. Audiologists spent four days immersed in the science underlying the profession during the inaugural Audiology Convention at ASHA in New ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   May 01, 2002
Audiology Platform Charts Course for Profession
Author Notes
  • Pamela Mason, is the director of ASHA’s audiology practice, policy, and consultation unit. Contact her by email at pmason@asha.org.
    Pamela Mason, is the director of ASHA’s audiology practice, policy, and consultation unit. Contact her by email at pmason@asha.org.×
  • Vic S. Gladstone, is ASHA’s chief staff officer for audiology. Contact him by email at vgladstone@asha.org.
    Vic S. Gladstone, is ASHA’s chief staff officer for audiology. Contact him by email at vgladstone@asha.org.×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Professional Issues & Training / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   May 01, 2002
Audiology Platform Charts Course for Profession
The ASHA Leader, May 2002, Vol. 7, 1-11. doi:10.1044/leader.AN1.07092002.1
The ASHA Leader, May 2002, Vol. 7, 1-11. doi:10.1044/leader.AN1.07092002.1
Audiology is in resurgence at ASHA. A sustained advocacy effort changed Medicare policy last fall to cover audiologic testing, even if the tests do not uncover a medically treatable condition. Audiologists spent four days immersed in the science underlying the profession during the inaugural Audiology Convention at ASHA in New Orleans, and the American Journal of Audiology was included on the MEDLINE database.
The foundation for these achievements—and the blueprint for advancing the profession of audiology—is the Audiology Platform. In building a bridge to the future, each plank of the platform represents the critical needs facing the profession:
  • increased autonomy, recognition, and respect for the profession

  • support for the research and science in the profession

  • access to audiologists as a point of entry for hearing health care

  • increased reimbursement and revenue for audiology services

  • strategic alliances and relationships within and outside the profession

  • advancement of scholarship and accreditation standards and clinical certification standards

  • outreach to 28 million Americans with untreated hearing loss

Collectively, the needs of audiologists served as the basis for developing the Audiology Platform at ASHA. The platform creates a framework of critical issues, activities, and plans for the future. It serves to focus and prioritize Association activities, as well as educate members through communication.
Here’s how the Audiology Platform is working for you:
  • Access Audiology E-Newsletter. ASHA is launching a new electronic newsletter, Access Audiology, designed to bring you useful information to build your practice. Each issue will highlight current news in a relevant area of practice, including cochlear implants, pediatric amplification, tinnitus, and auditory processing disorders, to name a few. For each of these areas, the e-newsletter brings you news, reimbursement updates, upcoming meetings, continuing education activities, useful Web links, and more. Access Audiology is an easy way to access your member benefits via the ASHA Web site. If you did not receive this informative newsletter, send an email to audiology@asha.org.

  • Effective Advocacy. Audiologists in the governmental relations and public policy unit promote independence and autonomy for the profession with continued and ongoing interactions with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), formerly known as the Health Care Financing Administration. In addition, ASHA also works closely with many other federal agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the U.S. Department of Education.

  • ASHA’s Clout. ASHA uses the clout of its total membership of more than 103,000 professionals when advocating on behalf of audiologists, and is also recognized for the strength of its audiology membership. More than 90% of all audiologists employed in the United States hold the CCC-A, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The CCC-A is a recognized industry standard by CMS. Policy makers and third-party payers look to CMS for guidelines for reimbursement.

  • Networking. One of the most valuable of ASHA’s services is technical assistance and networking with other audiologists. ASHA’s member community forums, which are online discussion boards, provide a place where members can communicate electronically with each other. The Web forum is organized by topic area, allowing users to decide in which areas they want to participate. Past discussions are accessed easily through key-word and phrase searches. To visit the forums, go to ASHA’s Web site.

  • Audiology “On Call.” Members can also obtain a personal consultation with an “on-call” audiologist. The audiology practice, policy, and consultation unit (audiology practices unit) can provide expert consultation on any facet of audiology practice and assist you in locating ASHA’s extensive resources. Requests for information represent an extensive array of simple—and complex—issues. All areas of clinical practice are discussed personally either by telephone or email. ASHA has received requests for information on topics such as guidelines for intraoperative monitoring using OAE, the effects of noise on school performance, cochlear implant candidacy and rehabilitation, tinnitus management, and auditory processing disorders, to name just a few. Often members call several times for continued discussion and guidance on practice management, especially when beginning a new private practice or expanding services offered within a practice. Marketing is a popular consultation topic. For a consultation, call the Action Center at 800-498-2071 and ask to speak with the on-call audiologist, or email audiology@asha.org.

  • Marketing Your Services. Did you know that ASHA provides free marketing for your services? ProServ, ASHA’s online directory for consumers, contains information on more than 4,000 programs that employ audiologists and/or speech-language pathologists. Consumers looking for a nearby audiologist or one with a specific area of expertise will use ProServ to find a professional that meets their needs. Consumers have come to ASHA’s public Web site in record numbers in search of information about communication disorders and referrals. Visits to the site exceed 160,000 each month. In addition, the Action Center receives 50–150 calls a month from consumers seeking audiology information and referrals. Take advantage of this free member service and market yourself on the ASHA Web site. Register for ProServ online at www.asha.org or call the Action Center.

  • Recognition for Audiology. Each year the audiology practices unit helps develop new consumer education brochures on a variety of topics. These brochures increase the recognition for the profession of audiology within the general population and are often used at consumer/patient-focused meetings. Audiologists working in the multicultural affairs unit have translated several brochures into Spanish, including the brochure on infant hearing screening. Plans are underway for a Chinese translation of the popular brochure “How Does Your Child Hear and Talk,” and ASHA is working on brochures on cochlear implants, hearing conservation, and hearing, noise, and school-age children.

  • Make Your Voice Heard. Audiologists are represented in decision-making and governance at ASHA in numerous ways through service on boards and committees and representation on the Audiology and Hearing Science Assembly of the Legislative Council. Audiologists also guide the development of profession-specific standards, position statements, and guidelines by submitting comments on documents for peer review.

Audiologists throughout the National Office are committed to serving you and meeting your professional needs. We invite you to read Access Audiology, sign onto the online member community forums, or call a member of the audiology practices unit and learn what ASHA is doing on your behalf.
Susan Boswell also contributed to this article.
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May 2002
Volume 7, Issue 9