On September 26, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published the final decision memo on broadening Medicare criteria for cochlear implants for individuals with bilateral moderate to profound hearing loss.
Key points for patients ( from the American Cochlear Implant Alliance ):
- A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that can restore the ability to perceive sounds and understand speech in individuals with moderate to profound hearing loss. In addition, children and adults who are not sufficiently helped by hearing aids may benefit from cochlear implants.
- The CMS policy update means that individuals who were not previously eligible for a cochlear implant under Medicare are now eligible, bringing Medicare coverage closer to FDA guidelines and private insurance plans.
- This decision significantly improves access to care for older adults with profound hearing loss who are Medicare beneficiaries.
- This change is effective immediately and will allow older adults to have expanded access to the benefits of cochlear implants.
- Cochlear implants can benefit older adults by improving their quality of life, including safety, working ability, and positive cognitive health impacts.