Hearing devices can certainly impact quality of life. For those with certain types of hearing loss, such as one-sided hearing or certain middle-ear conditions, a conventional hearing aid won't do the job.
A bone-anchored hearing device (BAHD), which is surgically implanted into the skull is the best option. According to Dr. Jack Wazen of Sarasota's Silverstein Institute, this innovation has a 90 percent success rate. Wazen says the device cost Medicare $9 million in 2013, out of a $492 billion budget. Medicare now wants to classify the device as it would any other hearing aid, rather than a prosthetic device, resulting in Medicare no longer paying for the essential treatment.
To read the entire article about BAHD and Medicare by Barbara Peters Smith of the Herald-Tribune, click here.
There is a Sept. 2 deadline to this decision and expressing your concern can help. You can address your views to Marilyn Tavenner, administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention: CMS-1614-P, P.O. Box 8010, Baltimore, MD 21244-8010. Or click here, and follow the "submit a comment" instructions.