Federal legislative accomplishments

June 2018 – Vol. 37, No. 5

115th Congress – 2017/2018

Repealed the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)

  • Created by the Affordable Care Act, the IPAB was charged with creating or modifying Medicare payment policy with limited congressional oversight.
  • Repeal signed into law in February 2018.

Defeated proposed cuts to Medicare physician payments

  • An SGR-like proposal relating to “mis-valued codes” was included in a congressional spending bill and would have resulted in cuts to Medicare physician payments.
  • Provision successfully removed in February 2018.

Secured funding for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs

  • This EHDI reauthorization effort sought to continue funding through 2022 for statewide plans that identify children with hearing loss and provide access to early intervention services.]
  • Bill signed into law in October 2017.

Ensured key patient protections in OTC hearing aids proposal

  • An AAO-HNS amendment identifying “medically treatable causes of hearing loss” was added to legislation creating a category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids.
  • Amended bill signed into law in August 2017.

Increased visibility of World Hearing Day

  • The AAO-HNS joined others in the hearing health community to draft a Congressional Resolution designating March 3 as World Hearing Day.
  • Resolution introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in March 2018.

Led coalition letter opposing audiology scope expansion

  • The AAO-HNS spearheaded opposition to the inappropriate expansion of audiology’s scope of practice and reclassification of audiologists as “physicians.”
  • Letter garnered more than 130 signatories from national, state, and local medical organizations.