NOTE: Below is legislation from the 116th Congress. ASHA is working on introducing similar legislation for 117th Congress.
Ask your members of Congress to protect patients and providers while ensuing access to medically necessary care provided by audiologists and SLPs by cosponsoring the CONNECT for Health Act of 2019 (H.R. 4932/S. 2741) and urging its inclusion in any legislative response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Professionals: Contact your members of Congress!
Students: Contact your members of Congress!
Download the Issue Brief [PDF] to learn more.
Medicare does not cover audiology and speech-language pathology services delivered via telehealth.
- Audiologists and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are qualified providers of telehealth services, and are licensed in states, reimbursed by private payers, and authorized by various state Medicaid plans to provide services in this manner.
- Covering telehealth would enhance access to hearing, balance, speech, language, swallowing, and cognition related health care services to Medicare beneficiaries in rural and medically underserved areas.
- Increasing access to audiology and speech-language pathology services may help consumers to better understand their health care condition and help their ability to express their medical need resulting in increased compliance and improved patient outcomes.
- The use of telepractice should be based on the unique clinical presentation of the patient and the ability of the clinician to ensure that the quality of any services provided in this manner matches the quality of services provided in person.
- Demand for audiology services is projected to increase by 21% by 2026 and the demand for speech-language pathology services is projected to increase by 18% during that period.