Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tips For Parents Getting Started With Spoken Language Development

HERE is free information
 from the 
Rehabilitation Resources From Cochlear 
Suggestions to help parents begin the journey of spoken language through listening.

It covers topics such as: 

- How children learn spoken language through listening
- Setting realistic expectations
- Suggestions for listening games and activities at home

Friday, August 22, 2014

Insurance Guide for Parents by Tiffani Hill-Patterson

Take the time to read this comprehensive article by Tiffani Hill-Patterson

Source: Volta Voices, May/June 2011


 Tiffani is author of Sound Check Mama, a blog about 
sports, music, and raising a daughter with hearing loss. 

Inquire About Eligibility and Benefits for Auditory Rehabilitation

Steps to Inquire About Eligibility and Benefits

Call the member services number on the back of your insurance card 
to inquire about eligibility and benefits for auditory rehabilitation.

Below are the CPT or procedure codes.

RE: THERAPY TYPE: Auditory (re)habilitation, Auditory-Verbal Therapy
CPT CODE: 92630 auditory rehab, prelingual hearing loss
CPT CODE: 92633 auditory rehab, postlingual hearing loss

RE: THERAPY TYPE: Auditory Processing Disorder
CPT CODE:  92626 Auditory Rehabilitation, 1st hour

Each plan is different and services may be subject to a deductible, coinsurance, or copayment.  Clients with Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans are responsible for getting a referral from the primary care physician prior to receiving services.  Lynn A. Wood is not responsible for denials on insurance claims, and clients are responsible to pay for services rendered.

Questions to Ask When Inquiring About Eligibility

It may be helpful for you to contact your insurance company and ask the following questions so you are aware of your insurance benefits.

1.    What are my outpatient benefits for auditory rehabilitation?

2.    Do I have a deductible?

3.    What is my co-pay or co-insurance percentage?

4.    How many visits do I get per calendar year?

5.    Do I need a referral or authorization prior to my visits? How often?

6.    Is my plan’s coverage of outpatient auditory rehabilitation based upon medical necessity? If so, what diagnoses are covered under “medical necessity”?

7.    What is the effective date of my coverage?

8.    Is Lynn A. Wood, M.A. CCC/A LSLS Cert. AVT in your provider network?

            NPI #: 1295853919

            Illinois Licensed Audiologist #147-000172

            Listening and Spoken Language Specialist, Certified Auditory-Verbal
            Therapist #70712318

9.    If not, who is an in network provider that is a Certified Auditory Verbal Therapist and a Licensed Rehabilitative Audiologist within 30 miles from my home?

10. If they do not have a provider in in network, request reimbursement at the in network rate.

Some insurance plans do not cover therapy services unless they are considered to be "medically necessary." Contact your insurance company to inquire about medical necessity guidelines that may apply to your plan

If services are denied, you have a right to appeal the health insurance company for speech-therapy coverage.  The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has published a document on medical review guidelines that can be used as part of the appeals process.


Knowledge and Skills Required for the Practice of Audiologic/Aural Rehabilitation

Official statement of the American Speech-Language-

Hearing Association (ASHA). 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tips For School from www.cochlear.com

This article is available HERE from the http://www.cochlear.com/ website.

1. Assessment and Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
Each year, your child's progress in each area of skill development must be monitored in order to determine the best approach for continuing momentum or improving the rate of progress. The approach to completing this assessment varies by school district. Information gathered for the yearly assessment provides the foundation for the discussion and goal setting of the Individualized Education Plan.
2. Organize a support team to work with your child
Encourage discussions, set up meetings, and highlight the role of each member in your child's support team. There are many people who should be considered members of your child's support team including:
  • Classroom Teacher/Special Teacher
  • Auditory Verbal Therapist(s)
  • Speech Language Pathologists
  • Educational Audiologist
  • Someone from cochlear implant center/clinic
  • School Principal/Administrator
  • Tutor, aid, school nurse, others
  • Parents + child + classmates
  • Interpreter, notetaker (depending on age and needs of your child)
Each member of the team will play a key role in your child's educational progress, from the teacher who is ensuring your child understands and is on par with academic goals, to the school administrator who provides leadership and allocates funds, to your cochlear implant center communicating your child's changes and progress. As the parent, your job is most important to ensure that you:
  • Communicate with all team members
  • Monitor equipment, homework and educational progress
  • Be a presence at school
  • Participate in child's developmental goals
  • Ensure a routine for your child
  • Provide an auditory learning environment at home
  • Encourage your child advocate for himself by talking, asking questions, and engaging with others around him/her

3. Set up an initial meeting with your child's support team

  • Show the team your child's audiogram and explain it
  • Help the team understand the benefits and limitations of hearing aid and  cochlear implant technology
  • Show the team your child's technology and let them handle it
  • If your child uses an FM system, explain why the FM is important
  • Determine who is in charge of troubleshooting and develop a plan for how that will work

4. Review classroom acoustics and ensure proper classroom seating

There are many factors in a child's classroom that may impact their ability to hear, such as noise, distance and reverberation. Keep in mind the following when choosing a child's classroom seat: Close to front but visually accessible to entire room
  • Seat away from noise generators (HVAC fans, hall doors)
  • If your child has one cochlear implant, seat them so that the cochlear implant ear is away from noise sources (HVAC fans, projectors) and towards center of room
  • Aquariums often generate noise (from the pump operation) and should not be placed in the classrooms of children with hearing loss

5. Review support services for your child

Work with your child's support team to determine what support is best for your child. When needed, consider options such as FM systems , interpreters, itinerant teachers of the deaf and other support services. Provide your teacher with extra batteries and troubleshooting tools to use in the classroom.

6. Provide tips to your child's teacher

Remember, your child's teacher may have never taught a child with hearing loss and feel that the "burden" is falling on them. Provide the teacher with some tips such as:
  • Always face forward when talking
  • Stay within the child's vision, closer is better
  • Don't "bounce" around
  • Speak clearly, naturally and directly to the child
  • Make sure the child is looking at you when you begin speaking
  • Ensure volume is appropriate
  • Speak just a little slower—too slow is not natural and will make understanding harder
  • Don't ask the child directly "Did you understand that?"
  • Learn to recognize "the look" that means the child didn't get it, or use a signal or "secret sign" so she can tell you she missed something
  • Repeat once, then paraphrase
  • Explain things a different way
  • Encourage the child to ask
  • Write difficult (key) word(s) on the blackboard
  • Provide key new words/concepts to parents or team members in advance
  • Use visual tools, concrete materials or natural gestures to illustrate points
  • Write assignments and directions on the board
  • When someone else is speaking, point to the speaker
  • Understand and use additional amplification equipment - repeat classmates' questions thru the FM system
  • If you think the child might have missed a comment, rephrase or restate what another child has contributed
  • Don't be afraid of the child's cochlear implant equipment

7. Involve classmates

Many children are not aware of cochlear implants. It is important to involve the classmates at the start of the school year to help them understand your child's technology, learn how to interact with your child and talk about how your child is the same as other kids, but with a little extra technology to help them hear. You may also want to assign another child as your child's "hearing buddy" to help keep your child on task and share notes, if they are old enough.
Remember, while you want to address your child's individual needs, you also want to place your child in the "least restrictive environment" to serve their needs. Set appropriate but high expectations. Children with cochlear implants should follow the same learning process as other children.
Parent and teacher resources
For additional resources on assisting your child and their cochlear implants at school, visit the HOPEwebsite.