Your CAA Board and Legislative Committee have been actively monitoring, providing feedback, and serving as expert witnesses for important legislative issues that concern the profession of audiology. The following summaries reflect the most current information from Sacramento.
LEGISLATIVE WORK IN 2022
Northern California CAA Legislative Liaison: Leigh Kjeldsen, Au.D.
Southern California CAA Legislative Liaison: Kaitlyn Bruccheri, Au.D.
The following is a short summary of our current efforts. We encourage you to contact us with support, challenges, questions or areas for further exploration at email@example.com.
Medi-Cal Reimbursement Update:
A win for our patients and a win for California audiologists!
The Governor signed a spending bill into law on Friday July 1, 2022 that restores the 10% cut in Medi-Cal reimbursements for audiologists which was imposed during the Great Recession. We identified this as a point of action through CAA's 2021 Legislative Membership Survey and have been actively working this year to make it happen. We are elated that our efforts are going to benefit California audiologists and our patients.
The Governor signaled his interest in reversing the cuts to our reimbursement earlier this spring. Thanks in large part to our lobbyists, Sacramento Advocates, we formed a coalition of other healthcare professionals with the same goal. Our lobbyists met with various legislative committees as well as individual legislators and worked with the Governor‘s office to illustrate how Medi-Cal patients are harmed by poor reimbursement to providers.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all our members whose membership dues pay for Sacramento Advocates. If you are pleased by this win and you are not a member, now is the time to join!
This change will be implemented by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), and we will update you with any information that this process entails as we move forward.
Third party groups that work with insurance companies to provide hearing aid benefits for their consumers ask audiologists to sign contracts to be "in network." These contractual arrangements present a number of questions for participants. This year, CAA is engaging in stakeholder conversations as part of a larger effort to bring awareness to audiologists as to our rights and responsibilities in this space under California law.
The Hearing Aid Coverage for Children Program was signed into law in 2020 and started accepting applications from families in July 2021. Like most new programs, the state has taken a phased approach to launching the HACCP, ramping up its operation over time. CAA was invited by the Department of Health Care Services, which oversees HACCP, to provide formal stakeholder input. We remain actively engaged with the state and other stakeholder groups to refine HACCP, and ensure that when its launch is fully complete, it will meet the needs of California families and audiologists.
Families with NO coverage for hearing aids, external worn bone conduction devices, and related services who earn under the 600 FPL will qualify for this program. They can reference this chart to determine if they qualify for HACCP or CCS. To learn more, visit www.letcakidshear.com
This year, the Legislature will be holding an oversight hearing examining the SLPAHAD licensing board to evaluate its performance and impact on stakeholders. The Legislature periodically holds these hearings for each board and bureau operating under the Department of Consumer Affairs. Because these hearings can result in changes impacting the SLPAHAD licensing board’s oversight of audiologists, we will be closely monitoring the process and will be prepared to engage as necessary.
SLPAHAD Licensing Board Meetings
Our lobbyists and your legislative liaisons attend meetings held by the licensing board. These meetings are announced on the SLPAHAD website along with agendas for the meeting. You can find information here: https://www.speechandhearing.ca.gov/board_activity/meetings/index.shtml
Ally's Act, H.R. 477
Ally's Act is a bipartisan national level bill that would require insurance providers to cover osseointegrated device (e.g., Baha, Ponto). For more information, please read the full article on Ally's Act here or visit www.earcommunity.org.
For more detailed information and updates throughout the year, please watch your email for CAA Legislative Update e-blasts and the quarterly CAA Member Newsletter.