4/21/17 – FTC Accepting Comments Through May 18
Below is a message forwarded from the IHS.
On Tuesday, April 18, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission held an all-day workshop, “Now Hear This: Competition, Innovation, and Consumer Protection Issues in Hearing Health Care.” The topics discussed ranged from hearing healthcare innovations in treatment and technology to current federal and state regulations to consumers perspectives, and infused presentations from related federal agencies on their relationships with hearing health care oversight.
There were competing messages shared throughout the day. On one side, providers and industry generally supported the role of the hearing healthcare professional in the provision of care and sharing the many technological advancements that have taken place in recent years. On the other side, those representing consumer electronics and consumers cited FDA and state regulations as a barrier to access and cost, and logged their strong support for an over the counter hearing aid delivery model. IHS President Rick Giles, ACA, BC-HIS, did a superb job of sharing the perspectives of IHS and hearing aid specialists nationwide through his participation on the regulatory panel.
The FTC wants to hear from all stakeholders and is asking for public comments on a variety of topics, which you can view through the meeting page (found in the Event Description section). Comments are due May 18 and can be submitted by clicking here.
IHS encourages you to take part in this important call to action to share your perspectives (and concerns) with an over the counter hearing aid model, and provide reassurance and evidence to federal regulators that trends indicate that the current model is appropriate and working. (Hearing aid/professional satisfaction and use are up after all!) As an example, you may choose to highlight the value of the professional evaluation in determining the appropriateness of a medical referral and/or hearing aids, share your experiences with patients purchasing internet hearing aids or personal sound amplifiers, or highlight the ways in which your practice strives to meet the needs of all patients.
If you’d like to view the playback of the workshop, you can do so through the below links. President Giles’s portion can be viewed in Part 3 during the Regulations Panel.
- Part 1: Introductions, Welcome from FTC Acting Director, CDC Presentation, Technology Innovations Panel
- Part 2: Delivery Innovations Panel
- Part 3: FDA Presentation, Regulations Panel
- Part 4: Consumer Choice Panel, Closing Remarks
Thank you for your assistance and continued support. And please spread the word to your colleagues and encourage them to take part in this call to action and join IHS if they are not already a member!
With questions, you can contact us via email or phone at 734-522-7200.
CALL TO ACTION: Send Your Support of SB 198
HHP needs your support to help move SB 198, which will be heard in the Senate Business and Professions Committee on April 17. Click here for a link to a sample letter you can use to send to Senator.Galgiani@Sen.ca.gov, Senator.Hill@Sen.ca.gov, and Senator.Bates@Sen.ca.gov.
HHP previously reported on its efforts to introduce legislation (SB 198: Senator Galgiani) that would expand the scope of practice for Hearing Aid Dispensers to include cerumen management, subject to specified requirements, including that the hearing aid dispenser demonstrates specified proficiency in cerumen management and that cerumen management only occur under physician and surgeon supervision. The bill would additionally authorize tympanometry as an allowable hearing test if it is only used for further referral to a physician and surgeon for diagnosis or treatment.
HHP had great responses to SB 198 during the Lobby Day event! HHP also advocated strongly for children’s access to hearing services.
2016 HHP Lobby Day
Thank you to our HHP members and Legislative Advocates for joining us at today’s HHP Lobby Day event!
Back row (left to right): Toby Hill, Rachel Hill, Sarah Pierce, Bill Forrest, Cliff Johnson, Joe Bartlett
Middle row (left to right): Don Tucker, Cindy Peffers, Erin Monday, Vanessa Cajina, Ashley Cansler, Suzanne Krumenacker, Bryce Docherty
Front row (Left to right): Donna King, Lynette Heres, Deanna McCoy
2016 Membership Drive Points Standings as of 5/6/16
- Don Tucker of Hearing Aid Systems – 5 pts
- Joe Cunningham of Palm Springs Hearing Aid Center – 3 pts
- Bill Forrest of Miracle Ear/West Coast Hearing – 3 pts
- Philip L. Putnam of Professional Hearing Aid Center – 3 pts
- David DeKriek of Fidelity Hearing Center – 3 pts
- Cliff Johnson of Miracle Ear – 3 pts
- Mark Haddad of Suncoast Hearing Aids & Repair Services – 2 pts
- Deane Manning of Superior Hearing Aid Service – 2 pts
- Kevin Garnett of Hearing Services of Antioch – 1 pt.
Hearing Healthcare Providers is counting on YOU to help make 2016 memorable by recruiting more members than ever! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to win the grand prize worth $500!!!!!
Here’s How to Participate:
- You must be an existing member recruiting anyone in the hearing healthcare industry.
- Simply present any person who has not been a member in the last 3 years with our membership brochure so they can see our HHP member advantages!
- Make sure they write your name in the application’s referral section found within the member brochure.
- Once they pay their membership dues, YOU earn the reward points.
- Regular Member = 3 pts
- Employee/Product or Manufacturer/Service Provider Member = 2 pts
- Additional Location/Student/Support Staff/Retired Member = 1 pt
- Check out the HHP website or Facebook page to see who has earned points and who you may be up against to win the grand prize!!!
- The top 3 winners and prizes will be announced during our 2016 Annual Conference in San Diego (May 12th -14th) – we hope to see you there!
Special Notes: Member Drive is in effect from January – 2016 Annual Conference. Need more applications? Please visit the member section of our website at HHPCA.org!
HHP Proudly Welcomes Two New Board Members
HHP is excited to announce that two new members have joined the HHP Board of Directors and will begin serving immediately.
Ashley Cansler of San Luis Obispo is HHP’s new Central Region Director. A graduate of San Diego State University, Ashley is a state-licensed hearing aid dispenser at Hearing Solutions in San Luis Obispo, and is currently a member of HHP’s Convention and Membership Committees. Ashley is already in the process of coordinating a district meeting in the San Luis Obispo Area.
“I’m very excited to serve HHP in this new capacity,” said Ashley. “At Hearing Solutions, our mission is to improve our patients’ quality of life as they rediscover the joy of hearing, and I’m proud to be a part of an organization that serves other professionals who share that commitment.”
William Forrest of El Dorado Hills, also a state-licensed hearing aid dispenser, will serve as HHP’s new Legislative Director to the California Legislature. In this role, William will represent HHP at legislative events and monitor proposed and enacted legislation and regulatory changes that would impact California’s hearing health care providers.
“As a hearing health care professional, I understand how legislation and regulation impact HHP members’ businesses,” said William. “I’m excited to serve as HHP’s new Legislative Director and represent our shared interests. I will work hard to keep our members informed about policies that may affect our practice.”
IHS & HHP Urges You to Help the Fit to Serve Campaign
Last week, the International Hearing Society (IHS) sent the following urgent e-mail to its members urging the for help on the Fit to Serve Campaign. HHP is urging its members to help support IHS in its efforts. Outlined below is what you can do to help.
On July 20th, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) sent an email to their membership urging them to contact the House VA Health Subcommittee members in opposition to a “mark-up” on IHS’ Fit to Serve bill, H.R. 353, scheduled for July 24. National ASHA leaders reached out to Subcommittee members suggesting that instead of ACTION, ASHA wants a STUDY. ASHA activated and our bill WAS PULLED from the Subcommittee mark-up.
Our Veterans don’t need a study; they need care and they need it NOW.
Our voices must be louder, and we need your help.
Don’t let organized audiology dictate who you are and what you can do. Make your voice heard – contact your Members of Congress today and give hearing aid specialists and veterans a stronger voice.
In a joint statement to the Subcommittee last week, AAA and ASHA said, “[T]he provision of hearing aids requires advanced education and training to effectively serve our veterans…Given the minimal training required to become a hearing instrument specialist in comparison to the rigor of training for an audiologist, this provider type is poorly equipped to deliver the level of care that veterans require. Veterans would not be well served by expanding the list of eligible providers to include hearing aid specialists. Indeed, we believe the legislation could result in a compromise in the quality of hearing health care services that already exists for veterans.”
Don’t let AAA and ASHA kill this bill with their self-serving and unsubstantiated threats of sub-par service. We know veterans are coming to us for help and receive the best of care when they do.
ASHA says H.R. 353 is unnecessary because the VA can already hire hearing aid dispensers as health technicians. We know this is a major underutilization of hearing aid specialists’ training and abilities since health technicians are not allowed to test hearing, or fit and adjust hearing aids – two services so badly needed by our Veterans. They say the VA can contract with hearing aid specialists when Veterans cannot travel to a VA facility or private practice audiologist. We know that the hands of these VA clinics are tied due to these restrictions.
ASHA’s head is in the sand. They are turning their backs on our nation’s heroes, including the thousands of veterans who go to hearing aid specialists instead of the VA every day because they are frustrated or too far from a VA facility or can’t wait for months for an appointment. Many are frail and can’t travel, or need a simple repair or adjustment.
Veterans need our help. Please call your Members of Congress (Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121) and/or email them TODAY using our online action center to urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 353/S. 564. It just takes a couple minutes and will have a real impact; do it today.
Learn more about the bill and our efforts, or access our online action center, go to www.fittoserve.us.
Finally, please send this to everyone you know who thinks Veterans should have better hearing healthcare and ask them to take action.
Important Announcement For California Medicaid Providers!!
On June 25, Medi-Cal announced that based on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, providers are now required to list the National Provider Identifier (NPI) and name of the provider who ordered, referred or prescribed the goods or services being billed. In addition, all ordering, referring or prescribing (ORP) providers must be enrolled as participating providers in Medicare or Medi-Cal, with a Type 1 (individual) NPI, even if these providers do not send claims to Medi-Cal for the services they provide.
If the ORP provider identified on the claim is not enrolled in Medi-Cal or Medicare, claims for reimbursement of the goods or services provided in filling the order, prescription or referral from the ORP provider will not be paid.
Providers can find more information on the Provider Enrollment Division page of the Department of Health Care Services website.
New HHP Career Center!
HHP Members: Post job openings or view open positions listed by other members!
HHP 2015 Annual Conference Photos
Click here to view photos from HHP’s 2015 Annual Conference in Lake Tahoe!
HHP Events Calendar (Google Calendar) Available Now!
Click here to view the new HHP Events Calendar, check back often for updates throughout the year.
This calendar is also located under the “Events” tab.
HHP Lobby Day 2015 Photos
Click here to view photos from HHP’s 2015 Lobby Day at the California State Capitol.
Oticon Education Stipend of $1,000 Available for 2015 HHP Convention
Bulk purchase of Oticon’s NERA or ALTA devices will earn you $1,000 in reimbursement for attending the meeting! Take advantage of this exclusive provider opportunity!
Song-Beverly Warranty Act Law Update
Please be aware of law changes effective January 1, 2015, which clarify warranty provisions for hearing aids. The tolling will now be 45 days.