Audiologists: Help Prove the Value of Your Work Audiologists, help shape the value of your services by completing a critical email survey on Medicare fee schedules. All Ears on Audiology
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All Ears on Audiology  |   June 01, 2018
Audiologists: Help Prove the Value of Your Work
Author Notes
  • Leisha Eiten, AuD, CCC-A, is the associate director of audiology at Boys Town National Research Hospital. As a member of ASHA’s Health Care Economics Committee, she works with ASHA and AAA to present and defend the value of audiology services to the AMA and CMS. She is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Group 9, Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood. leisha.eiten@boystown.org
    Leisha Eiten, AuD, CCC-A, is the associate director of audiology at Boys Town National Research Hospital. As a member of ASHA’s Health Care Economics Committee, she works with ASHA and AAA to present and defend the value of audiology services to the AMA and CMS. She is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Group 9, Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood. leisha.eiten@boystown.org×
Article Information
Practice Management / All Ears on Audiology
All Ears on Audiology   |   June 01, 2018
Audiologists: Help Prove the Value of Your Work
The ASHA Leader, June 2018, Vol. 23, 20-21. doi:10.1044/leader.AEA.23062018.20
The ASHA Leader, June 2018, Vol. 23, 20-21. doi:10.1044/leader.AEA.23062018.20
Do you feel that the value of your specialized audiology skills and services is not well-understood by others in the health care professions? Do you wonder how you can influence the codes that are reimbursed by Medicare and other insurance?
Beginning this summer and into 2019, ASHA and the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) will field surveys to value a number of balance and audiological testing codes. The surveys will be sent to a random sample of audiologists. Please be on the lookout for them and tell your colleagues, too. If there was ever a time to read an email from your organizations, this is it!
By participating in a survey related to new or revised procedure codes, you have the opportunity to communicate the value of your professional work. The American Medical Association (AMA) uses survey results to establish code values, a factor the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) uses to set reimbursement rates for Medicare outpatient services. Many other payers also base their payment rates on the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

The survey data provide essential information to the American Medical Association and ultimately to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, which develops the annual Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

Who is fielding the surveys—and why?
The AMA establishes Current Procedural Terminology (CPT, © AMA) codes to describe specific services and procedures. It also recommends the value of each code to CMS, which in turn informs the Medicare fee schedule. The AMA periodically evaluates codes, asking professional associations to collect information from their members who regularly perform the procedures.
ASHA and AAA work together to field surveys of new and revised CPT codes used by audiologists. If you receive an email from ASHA or AAA requesting your participation in a survey regarding CPT codes you use, I urge your involvement in the process.
Why is my participation important?
Audiologists are the best-qualified providers to articulate the value of the professional, skilled services that we provide. CPT code surveys are an important platform for us to do so. You may participate if you are a practicing audiologist who is familiar with and regularly performs the procedure described by the CPT code. You can participate even if you don’t currently bill Medicare or other third-party payers or use CPT codes.
The survey data provide essential information to the AMA and ultimately to CMS, which develops the annual Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

Many other payers, including Medicaid and private health insurance plans, follow Medicare payment policies, so these survey results have far-reaching implications.

What do I need to do?
The survey will ask you to objectively evaluate some key elements:
  • Time required to complete the service or procedure.

  • Intensity and complexity of the service provided.

  • Level of professional skill needed as the qualified health care professional.

Your feedback helps ensure that the value of our services is accurately and fairly represented to CMS. Many other payers, including Medicaid and private health insurance plans, often follow Medicare payment policies, so these survey results can have far-reaching implications.
The commitment to establish the value of our professional work in audiology is ongoing and multifaceted. But with your input to the survey process, you are acting on behalf of the entire profession to ensure that payers fairly estimate the worth of your professional work.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
June 2018
Volume 23, Issue 6