Posted by - General.

Last Thursday’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Public Workshop on whether FDA regulations on hearing aids should be relaxed in an effort to lower costs to consumers, addressed a number of controversies surrounding the disruptive forces in the hearing healthcare marketplace, including (1) consumer demand for more affordable and easily accessible hearing health care and (2) hearing enhancement options that can be purchased outside the traditional hearing health care marketplace. Read more

Posted by - Finding a Hearing Provider, Hearing Aids.

The majority of advertising on the web, in-print publications, and on the radio and TV devalues the importance of proper hearing evaluation, needs assessment, counseling and overemphasizes discounts and promotions— and promises miraculous results with hearing aids only. Many of these practices can get away with providing a lower standard of care because consumers are focused on the wrong thing—the hearing aid—and they are not as educated (like HLAA members are) about what clinical services they should expect and demand. Read more

Posted by - General.

This has been a huge year for consumers with hearing loss. The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) issued a landmark (and highly controversial) report on the state of the hearing healthcare industry, with a focus on access to care, and hearing aid affordability. The Institute of Medicine (IoM) also held a four part “Committee on Accessible and Affordable Hearing Health Care for Adults.” The FDA’s regulation of affordable hearing aid alternatives was a hot topic of discussion at the IoM, and PCAST called for the deregulation of over-the-counter basic hearing aids. Meanwhile, the FCC is in the process of revising its Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) rules for mobile phones. Tech giant Apple has even become involved, asking the FCC to remove the telecoil requirement. Read more

Posted by - Finding a Hearing Provider, General.

Knowing what I do for a living, my neighbor Jack contacted me to ask for help. He had been seen by a local audiologist and had some questions. As we sat at my kitchen table, I looked over his audiogram. The handout from his audiologist showed a table of four models of one brand of hearing aid with the prices of each model listed along the bottom of the page. In small print, the table listed 28 possible features, all of them related to hearing aid circuitry. As the price of the hearing aid increased, more features were listed as available. Read more