As many of you know, my wonderful husband is an ear doctor.
The way I understand it (and I could be a little mis-informed here) right now, if you have any problem with your ears (hearing, balance, tumors, auditory brain stuff) you have to be referred to him through a primary physician or an ENT. This stinks for him because it means that the doctor gets paid when really it is him that does the lions share of the testing, diagnosis, counseling and therapy. Its bad for the patient because they have to pay to see two professionals instead of one. And it isn't great for the ENT because it clogs up his day with people that really don't need his time (simple hearing tests, counseling sessions).
Right now there is legislation that is attempting to change this.
We're trying to get laws passed so that Medicare patients can go directly to an audiologist to have tests performed. It would make the audiologist just like an optometrist. You could just call up and audiologist and get your hearing tested and get hearing aids fitted and it would be covered by insurance.
This would be SOOO convenient for a lot of the elderly patients that the ear doctor sees.
If you have a minute, pop over to the American Academy of Audiology (by clicking here) and send your representative an email telling them that you support this movement! It's all filled out and all you have to do is click a few buttons.