FAQs – Cochlear End of Sale for Disposable Batteries

 

Q:  Will purchasing batteries outside of Cochlear be more expensive for customers?

A:  Our research indicates that there are many battery vendors that can offer high-quality disposable batteries, often at a lower price than what we can offer to our customers moving forward. Refer to our list of suggested battery suppliers.

 

Q:  What is the timeframe on how long will it take for Medicare/Medicaid to reimburse when submitting your own claim?

A:  Every plan reimburses differently and we cannot quote timeframes. Please visit your insurance plans website for additional information regarding reimbursement for out-of-pocket items.

 

Q:  Why did Cochlear decide to stop selling disposable batteries?  What is the business reason for this change?

A:  This decision was based on several important factors:

  1. The supplier of Cochlear’s recommended brand of disposable batteries has informed us that by the end of 2017 they will no longer produce their line of disposable batteries containing mercury. Cochlear commends this move based on our understanding of the reduced impact on the environment that the newer mercury-free batteries will provide.
  2. With this change to our disposable battery supply, our research indicates that there are many battery vendors that can offer high-quality disposable batteries, often at a lower price than what we can offer to our customers moving forward.

 

Q:  Is this beneficial to our customers?

A:  Many of our customers today have asked that we provide insurance reimbursement services to support claims for Cochlear parts and accessories that cannot be purchased elsewhere – such as Cochlear Rechargeable Batteries, repairs and other critical components. We are now in the process of converting our internal teams that used to process disposable battery orders to now provide expanded services for these higher dollar items that are critical to supporting our Recipient’s sound processor.

 

Q:  Any specific brands that we encourage using? What is the process for ordering?

A:  Please refer to our list of suggested battery suppliers and contact them for processing time.

 

Q:  What is the recommended course of action to file claims with Medicare/Medicaid?

A:  Every Medicaid program reimburses differently and we are unable to quote timeframes. Please visit your state’s website or contact your Medicaid social worker for additional information regarding reimbursement for out-of-pocket items.

  1. Instructions for filing claims to Medicare can be found here.
  2. A state-by-state breakdown for State Medicaid Coverage of Hearing Services for Adults (21 and older) can be found on the Hearing Loss Association of America site located here.

 

Q:  How does this impact my processor/manufacturer recommendations?

A:  This has no impact on product quality or warranty timelines. There are many battery vendors that can offer high-quality disposable batteries, often at a lower price than what we can offer to our customers moving forward. Please refer to our suggested list of vendors.

 

Q:  Is there any circumstance where a clinic or recipient can get disposable batteries from Cochlear?

A:  Disposable batteries will only be available as part of configurable orders (e.g. systems and upgrade).

 

Q:  Your Kanso processor does not currently offer a rechargeable option. Why are you no longer selling disposable batteries for Kanso?

A:  We recognize that this change may be difficult for our Kanso recipients but our research indicates that there are many battery vendors that can offer the same high-quality disposable batteries, often at a lower price than what we can offer to our customers moving forward. We are now in the process of converting our internal teams to provide expanded services for higher dollar items such as repairs and other critical components that are critical to the life of a recipient’s sound processor.

 

Q:  How will Medicare recipients now get batteries?

A:  Medicare recipients can still order rechargeable batteries through our reimbursement services. Disposable batteries will need to be ordered and paid for out-of-pocket through a 3rd party vendor, and then submitted to Medicare for reimbursement. Refer to our list of suggested battery suppliers.

 

Q:  How will Medicaid recipients get batteries?

A:  Medicaid recipients can still order rechargeable batteries through our reimbursement services. For disposables every Medicaid program reimburses differently. Please visit your state’s website or contact your Medicaid social worker for additional information regarding reimbursement for out-of-pocket items.

  1. Instructions for filing claims to Medicare can be found here.
  2. A state-by-state breakdown for State Medicaid Coverage of Hearing Services for Adults (21 and older) can be found on the Hearing Loss Association of America site located here.

 

Q:  My University does not have a purchase agreement with a battery company. Will you sell us batteries until this is established?

A:  We can sell batteries until December 31, 2017. If you would like a bulk order to get you through a longer time period we suggest you place an order prior to then.

 

Q:  Will you continue to sell rechargeable batteries to clinics and recipients?

A:  Yes, rechargeable batteries will still be available for purchase through both the self-pay and reimbursement services channel.

 

Q:  How will existing battery subscription orders be treated?

A:  We are committed to fulfilling all established contract agreements for disposable batteries. New battery subscription plans have been discontinued.

 

 

Cochlear Americas
We’re the people who help people hear. We invented the world’s first multi-channel cochlear implant over 30 years ago, which has evolved into our Cochlear™ Nucleus® System today. Later, we added a bone conduction implant, the Cochlear Baha® System, to our treatment options, so we could help care for more people with hearing loss. And now, with the Cochlear™ Nucleus® Hybrid Implant System, we can help individuals missing high-frequency sounds who may not have had an effective treatment option available to them.