Estimates of prevalence range from 3 percent to 7 percent of the general U. S. population. Untreated, voice disorders cost billions in lost productivity. For occupations like teaching that require heavy voice use, costs reach nearly $3 billion annually.
Effective treatment is available, yet some of the largest insurers refuse to cover common conditions like muscle tension dysphonia. Why? Where does that leave people who have voice disorders? Do they have any options? What are they?
ASHA’s podcast asks these and other questions of Janet McCarty, MEd, CCC-SLP, director of ASHA private health plan reimbursement; otolaryngologist Denis Lafreniere, MD; and Starr Cookman, MA, CCC-SLP. Lafreniere and Cookman diagnose and treat people with voice disorders.
Also providing input on the podcast is Kurt Cote, who received a diagnosis of muscle tension dysphonia. He shares his experiences living with the condition and trying to access insurance-reimbursable nonsurgical care.