Monday, October 13, 2008

Booth Testing #4

We have now completed audiograms (booth testings) for both left & right ears with hearing aids. Today we finished the left ear. AJ responded to speech at 75dB. He responded to higher frequency sounds at 90dB+.

It is rather interesting that both ears were at about the same level-aided. Since his ABR test (original test that told us he was profoundly deaf) showed NO response in either will be even more interesting to see how he tests un-aided.

We have three more booth testings scheduled over the next three weeks. We should have all of the information required to submit to insurance in mid-November, after our surgery consult on November 7th. Reports from AJ's CI Audiologist, Speech-Language Pathologist, Psychologist, and Surgeon will all be submitted to both our primary insurance and secondary, AJ's state insurance. We know that our primary will deny the surgery/implants. This is not new news to us (LONG STORY!) However, we just recently learned that submission is done at the same time for each insurance, so we will not have to "wait" for the denial from primary to submit to secondary. They have 30-60 days to provide pre-authorization or denial.

What do the booth testings show? The booth testings show that AJ's hearing/paying attention to sounds. His head turns mean he is actively looking for the source of the sound. These are great things. It shows that he does have an auditory nerve to stimulate inside that brain of his. Because his ABR had no responses, it was unclear as to whether he had an auditory nerve to stimulate. The testings also tell us at what levels he's hearing sounds with his hearing aids and without (soon). He's been consistent at around 70dB with low freqency sounds. To see the different frequency/dB levels please view the speech banana chart HERE.

I also had a very in depth conversation with our audiologist and SLP today. Without going into detail, let me just say it was long overdue. We are finally all on the same page....

AJ's surgery should be around Christmas, providing insurance gives us approval within a reasonable time frame. The team is now aware that we do want to pursue bilateral implants for AJ. Our surgeon does not do them simulatenously. We are going to submit to insurance for one first. If we submit for two (to state insurance) it will most likely be denied, or stalled due to further review. Rarely do they approve bilateral at once. So, given that the team is now aware that we want him to have two, he will most likely have his surgeries a few weeks to a few months apart. The great thing: providing we do the 2nd implant within 18 months of the first (Um, yes!), we do NOT need to repeat all this testing!! Till the next booth testing...

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