VA pilots audiology telehealth program for hearing tests

The Department of Veterans Affairs launched a telehealth pilot program at select VA medical centers and remote facilities across the country to increase patients' access to audiology care specialists.

Through the program, veterans can visit a remote VA healthcare site to have an audiometric test and images taken. The results are then sent to VA medical centers in Nashville, Tenn., Bay Pines, Fla., Topeka, Kan., and San Francisco, Calif., for audiologists to analyze. Approximately 400 veterans have now been tested through the program.

During the patient's visit, the medical technicians use technology to capture images of the individual's eardrum, ear canal and external ear, which are then uploaded to the EHR for the audiologist to access.

Eleven additional VA facilities have requested similar technology to expand their programs, which the VA plans to do in 2020. The department also provides telehealth services for hearing evaluations, hearing aid fittings and follow-ups, auditory rehabilitation and tinnitus management classes.

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