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Hearing Health Blog

Medicare Criteria Change Increases Access to Implantable Solutions 

calendar-icon January 5, 2023
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Increased access to implantable solutions with adaptive audiology

Sometimes wearing the best hearing aid technology, at the highest cost, still doesn’t provide the speech clarity hoped for.  If this is the case for you or someone you know, a cochlear implant may be the next step. In the past, cochlear implants were viewed only as a solution for someone that had lost all of their hearing. Many hearing healthcare professionals have not stayed up-to-date on the significant technological improvements made to the cochlear implant in the last 10 years, and therefore do not know when to refer frustrated patients for a cochlear implant. This lack of referral from audiologists and hearing instrument specialists is one of the reasons that only 8% of those that qualify for a cochlear implant wear one!

Outcomes with cochlear implants have improved dramatically-so much so that Medicare has relaxed the criteria necessary to qualify for an implant. The new criteria changed the candidacy threshold from only 40% speech understanding (when wearing appropriately fit hearing aids) to a speech understanding score of less than or equal to 60%. This is a dramatic change that will provide exciting opportunities for many people frustrated with their inability to understand speech with their hearing aids. As a part of the Cochlear Provider Network, Dr. Rierson understands how to test for cochlear implant candidacy and is trained to work with Cochleae’s hearing implants. State of the art hearing healthcare is not far away, thanks to the training and dedication of the Adaptive Audiology Solutions team! 


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