Virtual Advocacy Day

  • 07/07/2011
  • Online

First Virtual Advocacy Day CHALLENGE! 7/7/11

  • Send a letter through the Academy’s Legislative Action Center
  • Ask 7 friends, colleagues and patients to do the same
  • Invest in your profession by contributing to the PAC

During the month of July, both the Student Academy Board members and the Academy Board members will take to Capitol Hill to meet with their members of Congress and their staff to advocate on behalf of audiology issues and, specifically, direct access.

Help them ensure that audiology’s voice is heard by participating in the first Virtual Advocacy Day Challenge: Students vs. Practicing Audiologists. On Thursday, July 7, 2011, (7/7/11), visit the Academy’s Legislative Action Center and email your member of Congress to ask them to support H.R. 2140, the Medicare Hearing Health Care Enhancement Act, “direct access.” This concentrated approach can make a HUGE difference and takes less than 30 seconds. Here’s how:

1) In your internet browser address bar type: http://capwiz.com/audiology/home/ (or just click on the link)
2) There you will find letters for various issues facing audiology. Click on “Ask your representative to Support Direct Access in the 112th Congress!” (You will see there is a student version and a practicing provider version- this is how we will track the numbers)
3) Enter your contact information in the fields at the bottom of the screen. The Legislative Action Center will locate your representative for you! You can also edit the form letter if you wish.
4) Click on “Send Message” and you’re done! You have made a positive impact in the advocacy efforts of audiologists!

Don’t forget to ask your friends, family and patients to do the same. Consumer-based information is available by visiting: www.howsyourhearing.org.

We have already seen physician groups call for their members to oppose this initiative. Help make sure our message is heard!

Direct Access Introduced in U.S. House of Representatives
The American Academy of Audiology is pleased to announce the introduction of H.R. 2140, the Medicare Hearing Health Care Enhancement Act of 2011 in the 112th Congress. This bill is identical to H.R. 3024 from last session and the Academy again worked with Congressman Mike Ross (D-AR) on the introduction of this bill. He was joined by 11 original cosponsors.

H.R. 2140 eliminates the need for Medicare patients to obtain a physician referral prior to visiting an audiologist for an evaluation. Federal employees and members of Congress have direct access to an audiologist. This bill would afford Medicare patients the same direct access to audiologists.

Visit the Academy’s Legislative Action Center to identify your member of Congress and urge him or her to support direct access through an editable form letter.

Don’t forget to ask your friends, colleagues and patients to do the same. More information and a patient-based, editable form letter are available by accessing www.howsyourhearing.org. And if you haven’t done so already, display the informative patient advocacy poster in your practice setting, available here.

Hearing Aid Tax Credit Bill Introduced in U.S. House and Senate
Last month, Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) reintroduced the Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit Act (S. 905), along with seven original co-sponsors. This legislation provides a tax credit of up to $500 towards the purchase of a hearing aid, available once every five years. The Senate bill differs from the House bill in that it extends the tax credit to all individuals with no restrictions based on age or income.

Representatives Tom Latham (R-IA) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), along with 36 original co-sponsors, introduced H.R. 1479 in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 13, 2011. The House version makes available the tax credit to those individuals age 55 years and older, dependents of taxpayers, or taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is below $200,000.

Visit the AAA's Legislative Action Center to locate your representatives and urge them to support this legislation.


Illinois Academy of Audiology (ILAA)                      
4000 Westgate
Springfield, IL 62711 
 
Phone: (217) 691-1506 

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