Insurance Payer Status Predicts Postoperative Speech Outcomes in Adult Cochlear Implant Recipients
Background Cochlear implant qualifying criteria for adult patients with public insurance policies are stricter than the labeled manufacturer criteria. It remains unclear whether insurance payer status affects expedient access to implants for adult patients who could derive benefit from the devices.
Purpose This study examined whether insurance payer status affected access to cochlear implant services and longitudinal speech-perception outcomes in adult cochlear implant recipients.
Research Design Retrospective cross-sectional study.
Study Sample Sixty-eight data points were queried from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act–Secure, Encrypted, Research Management and Evaluation Solution database which consists of 12,388 de-identified data points from adult and pediatric cochlear implant recipients.
Data Analysis Linear mixed-effects models were used to determine whether insurance payer status affected expedient access to cochlear implants and whether payer status predicted longitudinal postoperative speech-perception scores in quiet and noise.
Results Results from linear mixed-effects regression models indicated that insurance payer status was a significant predictor of behavioral speech-perception scores in quiet and in background noise, with patients with public insurance experiencing poorer outcomes. In addition, extended wait time to receive a cochlear implant was predicted to significantly decrease speech-perception outcomes for patients with public insurance.
Conclusion This study documented patients covered by public health insurance wait longer to receive cochlear implants and experience poorer postoperative speech-perception outcomes. These results have important clinical implications regarding the cochlear implant candidacy criteria and intervention protocols.
* Student authors.
20 November 2020 (online)
© 2020. American Academy of Audiology. This article is published by Thieme.
Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.
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