Frequently Asked Questions
Redesigning care, with your safety top of mind.In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, GBMC Health Partners will continue to offer telehealth video visits for anyone who prefers that option. Please call your provider or login to MyChart to schedule an in-person or telehealth video visit today! If you have an existing appointment that you'd like to reschedule, please do so directly from your MyChart account.
* Please expect delays as our staff endeavor to assist all patients with their needs and questions. Do not send multiple MyChart messages or walk in to GBMC Health Partners locations without an appointment. We understand that patients are eager for access to care, and we are doing everything possible to respond to each patient as quickly as possible.
The following practices are experiencing issues with their phone lines due to a service interruption with an outside vendor:
- GBMC Health Partners Eye Center at Joppa Road
- GBMC Health Partners at Jonestown
- GBMC Health Partners at Hunt Manor
- GBMC Health Partners at Hunt Valley
- GBMC Health Partners at Jarrettsville
- GBMC Health Partners at Owings Mills (Family Care and Internal Medicine)
- GBMC Health Partners at Padonia
- Dr. Caren Craig's office
- Ambulatory Testing Center
- The Sandra and Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute at Crossroads
- West Road Business Office
If you need to reach your medical provider, please use the MyChart patient portal at gbmc.org/mychart. MyChart can be used for secure messaging with a provider, prescription refills, accessing test results, and more!
If you have tried using MyChart and still have an urgent need, please call 443-849-8556 for assistance. If this is a true medical emergency, please dial 911.
GBMC will be sending out additional communications to keep you informed as we work to address the vendor's service disruption.
Yours in good health,
GBMC Health Partners
Keeping You SafeHospitals and medical offices are now permitted to see patients for all types of care, including elective surgery. We have been working hard to ensure that the hospital and physicians' practices are ready for you. We have redesigned the way we provide care with your safety in mind.
We will continue to offer telehealth video visits for anyone who prefers that option. However, we want to reassure you that we are taking the necessary steps to protect your safety when you need to come to the hospital, a primary care office, or one of our specialty practices.
Some of the measures GBMC Health Partners is taking to protect patients include:
- GBMC Health Partners is seeing patients in person and via telehealth video visits. Using video visits allows you to talk with your doctor without leaving home. This reduces the number of patients coming through the office and decreases the potential for inadvertent exposure of patients and staff to COVID-19. Thus, in-person visits can be done safely for those who need them. We encourage you to utilize MyChart for your telehealth needs, and you can also call your doctor if you need help. We are ready to assist you.
- Extensive cleaning of all work spaces and patient areas is performed between encounters and throughout the day.
- All patients, providers, and staff members attest to COVID related symptoms upon arrival and must wear masks (along with other appropriate personal protective equipment "PPE" if necessary).
- All patients are asked COVID-19 screening questions when they make their appointment and again when they arrive. Patients are given specific appointment times to limit the number of people in the offices at one time, and are kept in private exam rooms during their visits.
- To allow for safe distancing, our office hours may be adjusted during this time, and offices themselves have been rearranged. In certain locations, there may be physical barriers in place, and in some cases, family members may be asked to wait in their vehicles. One family member or friend may accompany a patient to the appointment.
- All surgical patients are tested for COVID-19 pre-operatively.
- COVID-19 positive patients and patients under investigation (PUIs) who require hospital admission are sequestered in the hospital. Outpatients who are COVID-19 positive or PUIs are encouraged to utilize telehealth video visits to determine whether in-person care is needed.
How does an implant work?
- Processor (external device and microphone) captures sounds found in the environment.
- Converts the sound into an electrical energy
- Sent through the magnet into the internal implant device
- The information is converted into signals that are carried to the hearing nerve by electrodes placed along the implant.
What is the candidacy process?
- Introduction to cochlear implant technology, candidacy, and process
- Completion of intake forms
- Otoacoustic emissions test
- Acoustic reflexes
- Audiogram with and without hearing aids
- Speech perception testing
- Counseling regarding results and expectations
Rehabilitation/auditory skills evaluation
- Intervention history
- Auditory skills evaluation
- Language development consultation
Medical evaluation (1-2 appointments)
- CT scan or MRI
- Initial medical/otological evaluation (please bring copy of scan with you to this appointment)
Psychological Evaluation (1 appointment: as necessary)
- Non-verbal cognitive evaluation
Speech-Language Evaluation (1 appointment: as necessary)
- Receptive language
- Expressive language
Surgery (Outpatient, same day surgery and release)
- Outpatient surgery at the Sherwood Medical Center
- Lasts approximately 2 hours
- Visit physician 1 week after surgery for post-operative visit
- Initial activation (2 hours) – 3 weeks following surgery
- Follow-up appointments will occur at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months or more as necessary
- Annual follow-up appointments after 1 year of implantation.
- Rehabilitation therapy sessions will be scheduled as needed.
Who can be a cochlear implant candidate?
Ages 1 - 17 years:
- Severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss bilaterally
- Lack of progress in the development of auditory skills
- No medical contraindications
- High motivation and appropriate expectations of child and family members
Ages 18 years or older:
- Severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss bilaterally
- Prelinguistic or postlinguistic onset of severe to profound hearing loss
- No medical contraindications
- Appropriate expectations and a desire to be a part of the hearing world
What are the potential benefits?
Our team will work with you and/or your child to determine if more benefit would be received from use of the cochlear implant than from hearing aid use. No one can predict the amount of benefit that a cochlear implant recipient can receive. There are several factors that influence patient performance: auditory memory, age of implantation, status of the inner ear, motivation and rehabilitation. Cochlear implant recipients should expect to make continual progress over time although final outcomes will differ based on the factors listed above.
Does insurance cover an implant?
Most insurance companies cover cochlear implantation either fully or partially. Following the candidacy evaluation, your cochlear implant team will submit documentation to indicate medical necessity for cochlear implantation to your insurance company. Preauthorization will be obtained to ensure coverage prior to surgery. In the case of partial coverage, the remaining charges would be billed to any secondary insurance or considered to be the patient's responsibility.
Surgery and risks
- Outpatient basis-usually takes 3 hours
- General anesthesia
- Incision behind the ear
- Electrodes inserted through inner ear
- Small depression in mastoid bone to secure device
- Incision closed, head bandaged
- 4 weeks for healing to occur
- Activation and follow-up
Activation and follow-up
- Issuance of personal processors, user manuals and accessories
- Counseling regarding care and maintenance
- Mapping - testing to set stimulation levels to processor
- First appointment lasts 2- hours
- Second appointment 1 hour
- Sound quality differs for each patient
- Initial responses vary for each individual patient
- Standard follow-up audiological evaluations are performed at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year.
- Research has shown that patients are still progressing after 5 years.
- Essential for language development
- Increased Intelligibility
- Social Development
- Academic progress
- Quality of Life
- Speech and/or Language Evaluations
- Functional Auditory Skills Assessment
- Discussion of Expectations
- Hearing History
- Frequency of therapy based on individual need
- Concentration of Levels of Auditory Skill development:
- Sound detection (awareness)
- Sound discrimination
- Sound identification
- Listening in numerous settings
- Speech and Environmental sounds
- Articulation and Language addressed as needed
- Re-evaluations periodically to chart progress
The FDA has indicated that cochlear implant recipients may be at greater risk for meningitis and have recommended vaccinations. There are risks and benefits of cochlear implant surgery as it relates to the risks of meningitis. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is recommending that, prior to implantation, cochlear implant candidates consider vaccination against organisms that commonly cause bacterial meningitis. These vaccinations include the pneumococcal vaccinations (23-valent and 13-valent) and haemophilus influeanzae. Your primary care physician can provide these vaccinations to you. Cochlear implant manufacturers are providing reimbursement for any vaccinations not covered by the patient's insurance.