Remote Cochlear Implant Programming
If your cochlear implants aren't working they like they used to, you may need to get them remapped. With our remote cochlear implant programming service, you can now get your cochlear implants reprogrammed from the comfort of your own home.
Telehealth Cochlear Implant Mapping
Cochlear implants need regular check-ups and reprogramming sessions to continue working effectively and properly.
Traveling to a cochlear implant clinic to receive the necessary programming and follow-up counseling for your cochlear implant can be time-consuming (many CI patients travel between 2-4 hours to their audiologist for mapping!) and it can be costly if time off work is needed to attend. In the COVID-19 era, we can add in the extra risk of in-person contact during appointments.
To help our patients receive the care and full benefits of their hearing devices, we've teamed up with Dr. Melanie Gilbert, a cochlear implant (CI) audiologist, to provide remote CI remapping services.
As a research audiologist, Dr. Gilbert has more than a decade of experience with all cochlear implant manufacturers, expertise in music perception, and a passion for individualizing CI programming.
With recent improvements in telehealth technology, remote CI programming is now possible - and available from the comfort of your own home.
The benefits of remote cochlear implant remapping
There are many different benefits of receiving cochlear implant services in your own home.
It can be incredibly useful for the audiologist to see you in your "natural habitat", and discuss the listening and hearing challenges specific to your lifestyle.
Telehealth visits can also reduce the necessary travel expenses and time in transit. If you work during the day, appointments can be scheduled on evenings and weekends to make sure you receive the care and treatment you need.
How does telehealth cochlear implant programming work?
You can book your appointment online.
We'll then ship a laptop with cables that connect to your processor(s).
During the initial session, your audiologist will learn all about you and your history. She will analyze your current maps with the problems you are having. If reprogramming is recommended, the audiologist will use remote control of the equipment to program your device(s).
Once reprogrammed, a shipment label will be provided to return the laptop and cables back to us.
How much does remote CI mapping cost?
We are contracted with some insurance companies, except for Medicaid. Your insurance will be billed for cochlear implant reprogramming (code 92604).
There's a $190 fee for our initial remote appointment - which we cannot bill to your insurance. This fee includes shipping of the equipment to your door and the return shipment label to send it back. One and a half hours is allotted for this appointment.
Follow-up CI programming sessions are $90. This includes shipping of the equipment to your door and the return shipment label to send it back. One hour is allotted for this appointment.
If additional time beyond the 1.5 hours is needed, it is billed at $200/hour in 15-minute increments. A sliding scale is available.
If you'd like to learn whether cochlear implants can help you hear the world more clearly, schedule a cochlear implant evaluation with us today.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How tech savvy do you need to be to participate? What equipment is needed to do an in-home visit?
If you're not comfortable operating computers or handling the CI equipment, you should consider getting a "technology helper" to help you. This can be a friend, employee or family member. You, or your technology helper, needs to be able to turn on a laptop and connect it to the internet (usually to a wifi network, but ethernet cable is fine too). The audiologist will then provide instructions on how to connect the processor to the computer.
How does the level of service of telehealth compare to in-clinic visits?
Several research studies have shown that for basic programming and counseling, a telehealth visit is just as effective as an in-person visit.
Is remote CI mapping safe?
The clinician has full control of the cochlear implant during the visit, so it is completely safe.
Is remote CI programming safe during COVID-19?
Yes, there are safeguards in place to make sure equipment is cleaned and disinfected prior to each visit to ensure compliance with COVID-19 best practice.
How does the cost of remote CI remapping compare to the current model?
It depends on the insurance you have, get in touch for information specific to your needs.
If you have any questions, please get in touch and we'll be happy to answer any queries you may have.