Monthly Archives: August 2014

You Asked; We Answered: FM Systems in the Classroom

Happy Back to School season! This time of year, we see many questions about FM systems in the classroom. Recently, a Ponto user and advocate sent this question our way. So, we wanted to take the opportunity to share an answer from one of our top Audiologists.

Here’s the question: 

“Does anyone have any experience with FM systems? My son is in the first grade, and he has bilateral BAHAs. The school ordered the Amigo for him over the summer, at that time he had the slightly older model Ponto (the Pro I believe). He had surgery to place abutments over summer and to our surprise we received two new hearing aids with the surgery. I also got a Streamer. The Amigo isn’t wireless and doesn’t seem to be as compatible with the Ponto Plus as the Streamer.

Does anyone have experience with the different FM systems especially in the classroom setting?
I have been told in the past that when FM is on, the hearing aid only picks up sound transmitted to microphone and blocks all other surrounding sound and I have been told that isn’t true. Neither of these people used the FM themselves. Can anyone who has a BAHA share?”

Enter one of Oticon Medical’s top Audiologists, Laura Phelps. Here’s Laura’s answer:

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Seven-Year-Old Winslow Weighs his Bone Anchored Hearing Options & Chooses the Ponto Plus

Winslow may only be 7 years old, but he knows what he wants when it comes to his hearing. After trying his options, Winslow chose The Ponto System. This May, Winslow decided he was ready to take the next step and be aided bilaterally. Now, he’ll have not one, but two Pontos.

Here’s Winslow and his mom, Ann, to tell their story.

Would you like to talk to Ann and Winslow or another bone anchored hearing system user? Let us know here. If you’d like to share your story, let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Learn more about the Ponto Plus Power here.

Bone Anchored Hearing System Medicaid Insurance Support for Clinicians & Patients

The Health Insurance Association of America describes Medicaid as a “government insurance program for persons of all ages whose income and resources are insufficient to pay for health care.” (America’s Health Insurance Plans (HIAA), pg. 232). Medicaid also has enrollment programs for children with specific conditions, depending on state policy. Medicaid programs are funded jointly by the federal government and each state and the programs are administered under this partnership on a state by state basis.

Medicaid is the largest source of funding for medical and health-related services for people with low income in the United States. The system can be quite complex. States establish their own systems for delivery of services under their programs. Add the fact that states have their own policies regarding coverage, and it’s more than a full-time job to keep up with federal and state regulations—especially because they’re constantly changing. It takes the time and care to look into each individual’s case to fully understand and utilize coverage.

In an effort simplify the process of obtaining replacement sound processors and soft bands, Oticon Medical has enrolled as a provider in many state Medicaid programs. Because we are enrolled providers, not only can we provide assistance in ensuring that patients have necessary coverage in place for devices, we can also bill those programs directly.

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When Pretending to Hear Is No Longer Acceptable

Robb Boss believed he was doing “just fine” coping with his conductive hearing loss. A successful oncology sales representative with a leading pharmaceutical company, Robb’s personable and intelligent communication with colleagues and clients has led to much success and satisfaction for the 41-year-old. But, a brief conversation with a co-worker helped Robb see the downside of his untreated unilateral conductive hearing loss and take action.

After “pretending” to hear nearly his whole life, Robb decided that improving his hearing would improve relationships at work and with the people who matter the most– his family. “I was living my life pretending I could hear, Robb says. “It started hindering communication within the family and professionally. We have five girls and they all have tones of voices that I just couldn’t hear at all.”

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Bethany Geldmaker Advocates for Awareness & Continued Coverage

Bethany Geldmaker has an incredible story. Paired with the impactful way that she advocates for the importance of bone anchored hearing systems and her mission to educate others on the process of getting coverage for their bone anchored hearing systems, she’s one of the most powerful voices in the community. Recently, Bethany has accelerated her efforts even more to bring awareness to the changes that The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have proposed that could eliminate coverage for bone anchored hearing devices in 2015.

Our collective rebuttal to the proposed changes must be education that helps people understand just how important it is to keep coverage for bone anchored hearing systems. That’s exactly what Bethany has been doing. She’s been doing this in three key ways:

  • Working to heighten public awareness
  • Encouraging others to educate themselves on solution options
  • Getting information and education in the hands of insurance providers

Here’s Bethany to explain how she works to accomplish these three goals.

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Finding Ear Community After Enter a World of Uncertainty

In honor of the amazing connections that happen at Ear Community’s Microtia and Atresia Summer Picnics, we’ve asked attendees to share their experiences with you here on our blog. This week, you’ll hear from Shannon Katuszonek, a mom who is forever grateful for finding her strength through Ear Community.

Here’s Shannon to tell her story.

We had no idea my daughter, Ava, had a condition. When she was born it was quite the shock. As if learning to understand what her little ear meant wasn’t enough, she was our first child, so we had little frame of reference for newborns in general.

So, we took in whatever information the doctors gave us. We knew she failed the newborn hearing screening test. Then, our Microtia Pediatrician started telling us about the other things that could be wrong with her.  “She could have Goldenhar Syndrome, a heart condition and more. But, we’ll just wait and see how she develops.”

There we were…

You’re looking at this beautiful little baby that you’ve been waiting for, and now you’re so overwhelmed. You can’t enjoy the moment, because you’re so worried about all of the things that might happen.

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A Growing Community: Bone Anchored Hearing System Forums & User Groups

We’re sharing one of our greatest assets– a list of online bone anchored hearing system forums and user groups. The communities on this list have helped so many, and they’ve helped us connect with you. With so many people looking for communities of others who can help them get answers and support, we’ve now made this list public. Better yet, we’re asking you to help us add to the list and grow it even further. Read on for access and to get the full scoop on how it works.

Bone Anchored Hearing System Forums & Groups List

Click to View the List

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