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CMS rules to continue Medicare coverage of Osseointegrated Implants

Monday, November 3, 2014  
Posted by: Susan Thomas
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On October 31, 2015 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule that clarified Medicare policy on the hearing aid exclusion. Medicare does not cover hearing aids and other devices classified as hearing aids. Last summer, CMS published a proposed rule which would have removed coverage of Osseointegrated Implants (brand names Baha, Ponto). American Cochlear Implant Alliance undertook a major initiative with our members and other organizations in the field of hearing loss to demonstrate (1) why these implants are not hearing aids and (2) highlight the importance of continued coverage for individuals who need Osseintegrated Implants to hear.
We provided guidance allowing our members to submit comments, we met with CMS staff, and we submitted detailed comments from the ACI Alliance. We also encouraged the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus to submit a letter to CMS to strongly encourage retention of coverage. Our collective efforts sent a strong message to governmental decision-makers. We are delighted that our community has been successful in retaining Medicare coverage for Osseointegrated Implants and confirmation of continued coverage for cochlear implants and auditory brainstem implants. To view our comments to CMS and those of individual members, please click here.

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