What is the MyHearingHealth bundle?
MyHearingHealth provides patients with simplified access to cochlear implant surgery. This process eliminates unnecessary appointments and travel and is streamlined to a single day experience in many cases. Patients also benefit from a respected team of specialists known for groundbreaking research and innovative treatment options, coupled with the widest selection of implants available anywhere.
How will this new program benefit?
In addition to a high-touch care experience streamlined by a MyHearingHealth patient navigator, patients save a tremendous amount of time and travel with this bundle. Typically, the process of receiving a cochlear implant takes a couple months, but MyHearingHealth can streamline this process into a single day in many cases – allowing for a faster return to both life and work.
What is a cochlear implant?
Cochlear implants are small electronic devices that can provide a sense of sound to individuals with moderate to profound hearing loss. The implant consists of an external device that sits behind the ear and an internal device that is surgically implanted under the skin.
Are cochlear implants different than hearing aids?
Yes. Hearing aids make sounds louder, allowing them to be detected by ears with structural damage and hearing loss. Cochlear implants bypass the damaged parts of the inner ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve to transmit incoming sound to the auditory system. Cochlear implants help patients hear, improve speech understanding and improve hearing-related quality of life in ways that hearing aids cannot.
Who is a good candidate for cochlear implant surgery?
Adults who have tried appropriately fitted hearing aids but are still struggling with everyday communication are likely candidates for cochlear implants. Candidates for cochlear implant surgery include individuals who:
- Are experiencing hearing loss of a moderate to profound degree who are receiving minimal benefit from hearing aids
- Have hearing in both ears but with poor clarity. This is commonly reported as “I can hear speech, but I cannot understand it.”
- Miss half or more of spoken words, without lip reading, even when wearing hearing aids
- Rely heavily on lip reading, despite wearing hearing aids
- Have hearing difficulty in crowded environments such as restaurants
What does the MyHearingHealth bundle cost?
Please visit your employer’s benefits website or speak with a patient navigator to confirm.
Who is eligible?
Patients may participate in the MyHearingHealth bundle if they are:
- 18 years or older
- Participating in an employer-sponsored health plan
All other patients are eligible to participate in Vanderbilt’s Hearing Implant Program.
Do I qualify if I already have a cochlear implant?
If you already have a cochlear implant in one ear, you are still eligible to receive one in the other ear.
Do I need to enroll?
Yes. Eligible employees must enroll prior to cochlear implant surgery.
How do I enroll in the bundle?
If eligible, a patient navigator will enroll you in the program.
What services are “bundled” in MyHearingHealth?
The program is designed to provide coordinated care from the initial assessment through 12 weeks after placement of the cochlear implant. Services include:
- Concierge service with a dedicated patient navigator
- All imaging and specialty visits with audiologist and surgeon related to the cochlear implant
- Your choice in cochlear implant device
- Timely activation of the cochlear implant
- Mapping sessions for the first 3 months after implant placement (see below for an explanation of mapping sessions)
What services are not covered by the bundle?
- Pre-clearance specialty consults
- Non-VUMC services
- Prescriptions (Rx)
How long does the MyHearingHealth bundle last?
Bundle coverages begins upon enrollment with a patient navigator and ends 6 months after surgery.
What is a mapping session?
A mapping session is a visit with your audiologist to program your cochlear implant. The first mapping session is the activation where your new cochlear implant is turned on. Immediately after activation you will have a limited range of hearing. In less than three months’ time you will have two additional mapping sessions with your audiologist to further program and optimize your hearing.
Do I need to come back to Vanderbilt for my mapping sessions?
If you would like your first 3 months of mapping sessions to be covered by the bundle you will need to come back to Vanderbilt and be seen in the Bill Wilkerson Center. Otherwise, if you are willing to pay out-of-pocket for your mapping sessions, we can share your records with a local audiologist of your choosing.
Where can I find additional information about cochlear implants at VUMC?
Check out these educational videos on cochlear implants. The videos explain the basics of cochlear implants, how to choose the right cochlear implant, what cochlear implant surgery entails, and the activation and mapping process.