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TMCNet:  Oticon Medical Sees Education and Awareness-Building among Policymakers as Key to Continued CMS Coverage of Bone Anchored Implants

[August 13, 2014]

Oticon Medical Sees Education and Awareness-Building among Policymakers as Key to Continued CMS Coverage of Bone Anchored Implants

SOMERSET, N.J. --(Business Wire)--

For Oticon Medical, education and awareness-building among policymakers is critical to securing continued coverage of bone anchored implants by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The company is working with otolaryngologists, audiologists and bone anchored implant users to increase understanding of the value of bone anchored implants in advance of proposed CMS changes to withdraw its current coverage policy for bone anchored hearing devices.

In a national outreach to healthcare and hearing care professionals, Oticon Medical cited the success achieved in 2005 when professional organizations, bone anchored hearing device providers and industry furnished policymakers with key clinical information, studies and other documentation on the benefits of bone anchored devices and why the technology is indeed a prosthetic device.

"If adopted, the change proposed by CMS will be binding on all parts of the Medicare program," explained Curt Gorman, President, Oticon Medical, LLC. "It will eliminate coverage for Medicare patients and there is a real possibility tht other non-governmental payers may use this as rationale to revise their coverage policies and no longer provide coverage. As a result, patients will suffer due to limited access to this technology. Our goal is to continue to make bone anchored hearing solutions a viable and achievable option for all patients who can benefit from this life-changing technology."

Oticon Medical is working to rally hearing healthcare professionals to reinforce the value of bone anchored hearing implants with policymakers during the comment period for the proposed rule, which closes on Tuesday, September 2, 2014.

Daniel H. Coelho, M.D., F.A.C.S., Director of the Cochlear Implant Center at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center is among the concerned professionals who will share comments on the proposed CMS changes. Dr. Coelho has extensive experience with hearing implants and is the author of numerous peer-reviewed papers on implants and skull base surgery.

"Bone anchored implants have been a godsend for our patients - the overwhelming majority of whom are unable to wear conventional hearing aids," he explained. "The proposed CMS drop in coverage threatens to eliminate what may be not only the best, but often the only option available for patients with severe conductive, mixed, or single-sided deafness. We as a community (doctors, audiologists, patients, professional organizations, and patient advocates) are strongly opposed to this proposal and the dramatic negative impact it would have on access to care for patients with hearing loss."

To register comments, log onto:!documentDetail;D=CMS-2014-0092-0002 and click the "Comment Now" button. Deadline for comments is September 2.

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