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Medicaid funding for hearing devices is a win

Jerry Mottese, back, conducts a hearing test on Bill Britton, 72, of Clermont, Fla.
Jerry Mottese, back, conducts a hearing test on Bill Britton, 72, of Clermont, Fla. (Orlando Sentinel file)

I commend Gov. Larry Hogan’s office for the work they’ve done to expand Maryland Medicaid to include hearing aids (“Maryland Medicaid program expands to pay for devices for hearing-impaired adults,” Jan. 9). We want to celebrate this win but not lose sight of the work that remains to be done.

As with any legislation, implementation can be complex. Due to this expansion of hearing services under Medicaid, HASA and other hearing health providers must become credentialed with Maryland’s managed care organizations. Credentialing is required for the pre-authorization and payment for services. For hearing health coverage, there are at least eight MCOs that provide coverage; the credentialing process can take up to six months.

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To individuals in need of immediate evaluation and care, a word of caution — it may still be several months before your provider is able to accept your Medicaid coverage. I encourage you to have patience but continue to be persistent and elevate your concerns. At HASA, we believe everyone deserves equal and equitable access to care. We’re thrilled to see expanded coverage and are advocating for efficient implementation so that individuals can begin to receive the care they need.

Erin Stauder, Baltimore

The writer is the executive director of HASA.

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