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.
Posts Tagged: advocacy
IEEE P2650™, or the “Standard For Enabling Mobile Device Platforms To Be Used As Pre-Screening Audiometric Systems,” will undoubtedly become the defacto standard for all smartphone hearing-screening tests. The new standard will help IEEE achieve the goal of addressing the hearing needs of those in emerging economies, where diagnostic hearing-testing facilities, and hearing professionals, are in limited supply.
The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology met on September 18th to discuss hearing aids and hearing technology. The discussion was led by Dr. Christine Cassel, MD, a leading expert in geriatric medicine, who suggested that “technology-based changes in Federal regulations … could make this [Personal Sound Amplification Product] technology more available and begin to promote more innovation in the market.” Here is a short snippet from Dr. Cassel’s professional bio, over at the National Quality Forum.
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.
The Hearing Loss Association – Lakeland Chapter is launching a new program to offer the gift of hearing. This program will collect, inspect, clean, repair and donate hearing aids to those who need hearing assistance and are financially challenged. The Lakeland program is superior to many other hearing aid donation programs, in the sense that it provides more than just a hearing aid to those in need.
One of the most frustrating things about having a severe hearing loss since childhood – aside from having trouble hearing – has been the high cost of hearing aids. Not only do hearing aids typically cost thousands of dollars per pair, but so many health insurance plans, including Medicare, do not provide any coverage for hearing aids at all. Nevertheless, as an adult working in financial planning, I have also learned that there are a few tax breaks and pre-tax savings plans that can help ease the cost of purchasing hearing aids.
The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) recently invited us to do a webinar on best practice hearing care. We covered a number of topics, including: The problem with hearing care, What to look for in a hearing provider, Understanding hearing aid features, How to improve your care with Hearing Tracker
The not-for-profit “National Hearing Test” is a phone-based service that allows anyone to call in and quickly test their hearing, for the small fee of $5. Skeptical? National Hearing Test a public service that has no financial connection with any hearing products or services. It is no wonder so many of us avoid having our hearing tested, even if we suspect we might need help. We’re confused about where to get an unbiased hearing test, who should perform it and how much it will cost. Not to Read more
We officially launched HearingTracker.com to the audiology community back in March. After much anticipation, we finally had the chance to introduce Hearing Tracker to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community at the HLAA 2014 in our hometown, Austin, TX! The concept for Hearing Tracker was developed many years ago, as an ambitious solution for helping hearing impaired consumers connect with top-quality hearing providers and hearing devices. To say we were excited to unveil it – to the population Read more