Basically, yes. Through self-referral, you are not obliged to see a physician or practice nurse before making an appointment with an audiologist. The majority, if not all, third party payers will need a referral, even though neither state licensure nor an audiologist’s ethics necessitate one. It is best to confirm the details of the referral with the specific payer. Payers, however, are generally reasonable and permit a broad recommendation, as is the case with Medicare. Medicare accepts written correspondence signed by the treating practitioner or his or her office, phone calls from the practitioner or his or her office, or emails from the practitioner or his or her office (section 80.6.1 of Chapter 15 of the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual).
Presently, a physician referral is required for all diagnostic audiological treatments covered by Medicare; nevertheless, the main factor affecting payment is the reason for the test. Medicare will pay for medically appropriate and required procedures to diagnose and treat a patient’s illness. For each service that is invoiced, the clinician is required to document in the medical record the precise sign, symptom, or medical complaint that prompted the service.
A hearing aid specialist can perform a simple hearing evaluation on you and fit you with a hearing aid. A wider range of hearing, balance, and related audiological problems can be assessed and diagnosed by audiologists. The medical experts responsible for identifying the underlying cause of hearing loss are audiologists since they are trained in the pathology of hearing loss. Contrarily, a hearing aid specialist is only concerned with conducting hearing tests to fit hearing aids.
Professionals who test hearing and provide aftercare for hearing aids are known as hearing aid dispensers (HADs). Hearing aid dispensers must be licensed and certified in order to use hearing technology. A wider variety of hearing and balance problems can be assessed and diagnosed by audiologists. For treatments that are more closely tied to medicine, such as balance issues, Ear wax, and hearing loss brought about by exposure to noise, an audiologist may be more appropriate. Both professionals are competent in fitting and adjusting hearing aids as well as performing cleaning, maintenance, and repairs.