Recent comments made by David Shulkin, MD, Secretary of Veterans Affairs suggest the need to eliminate routine care from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to better address access to care for wounded Veterans. Secretary Shulkin listed audiology services, specifically hearing aids, as falling under the category of “routine.” Contact your members of Congress today to discuss the importance of access to audiology services for Veterans.
Providing high quality audiologic care to our Nation's Veterans is anything but routine. The invisible wounds of hearing loss and tinnitus are the top two service-connected disabilities among Veterans enrolled in VA for care. Veterans have higher rates of hearing loss and tinnitus than the general public due to the occupational injury that can be incurred as a result of the noise levels encountered while in the service, including gunfire, aircraft, machinery, and much more. It is critical that members of Congress understand the important role of the VA in providing much-needed audiology services to Veterans.