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Medicare Proposes to Remove Coverage of Osseointegrated (Bone Anchored) Devices

Wednesday, July 30, 2014  
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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a proposed rule that would change the classification of Auditory Osseointegrated (Bone Anchored) Devices under Medicare. Instead of covering these devices, CMS is suggesting that it will categorize the bone anchored prosthetic device as a hearing aid and exclude it as a covered benefit. This would affect both new surgeries as well as aftercare services for existing patients. Likely this would also affect coverage by many private insurers currently covering bone-anchored devices.

ACI Alliance will be meeting with CMS officials in early August. Other organizations, including AAO-HNS, will also be meeting with CMS and we are coordinating with other groups for maximum impact. We strongly urge you to submit a letter to CMS expressing your concern regarding the proposal to cease coverage of these prosthetic devices that provide access to sound for individuals who cannot benefit from hearing aids. A strong response is needed to reverse this proposed rule. Comments are due August 29.

We will develop a guidance document for our members to use to help you submit comments. This should be undertaken electronically via the CMS website. We will provide you with everything you need to develop your letter and to submit it. Comments do not need to be lengthy. It is important that you discuss the proposal as a clinician or other professional who works with Medicare beneficiaries who benefit from bone anchored auditory devices as well as other devices that fit the definition of prosthetics and are not hearing aids.

Watch the ACI Alliance website at www.ACIAlliance.org for additional information.

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