​South Carolina Academy of Audiology
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Major items:

October 2017- EHDI Bill Passes Congress

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate version of the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Act, (S. 652). The Senate passed this legislation on September 7. The bill now moves to the President’s desk for his signature to become law. This bipartisan legislation, sponsored in the House by Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Doris Matsui (D-CA), reauthorizes funding for EHDI programs over the next five years. Since this program was first approved in 2000, the number of newborns who were screened for hearing loss increased significantly from just 44 percent to over 97 percent. 

“Detecting hearing loss early is critical to ensuring that newborns, infants, toddlers, and young children are able to access appropriate intervention programs in a timely manner,” said Academy President Jackie Clark, PhD. “The Academy commends Congress for acting to reauthorize EHDI, and we eagerly await President Trump’s signature on this important piece of legislation.” 

The Academy thanks its members and other professional colleagues for their continued grassroots support in passing this important legislation!​ 

Department of Labor (DOL) Rescinds Hearing Aid Specialist Apprenticeship Program- SUCCESS

On November 15th, 2015, ADA was informed that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) officially rescinded the highly concerning apprenticeship program for hearing aid dispensers. The controversial apprenticeship program was rescinded on July 25th. The DOL cited the need to seek additional input from audiology stakeholders before creating such a program in the future. This information was provided through a correspondence with Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI), who expressed concern to the DOL on the development of the apprenticeship program absent input from audiology organizations. ADA will continue to monitor future actions by the DOL regarding hearing aid dispenser apprenticeship to ensure that the public interest is protected.

PCAST Recommendations and AAA's response

ADA's 18x18 initiative

Federal Bill H.R. 2519- Audiology Patient Choice Act

Update (May 2017):

  • Re-Introduction of Legislation to Help Medicare Patients Get Better Access to Audiology Services
  • U.S. Representative Tom Rice (R-SC) for his leadership in introducing H.R. 2276, the Audiology Patient Choice Act.
  • To bring Medicare in line with evidence-based practices in audiologic health care delivery models, and trends in patient care and participatory medicine.
  • Senator Graham and Scott encouraged to support
  • ADA President Alicia Spoor met with Sen Graham’s staffer, reported that he was receptive to the need to streamline audiology services under Medicare Part B, and provided positive feedback on all elements of the Audiology Patient Choice Act.
  • Impressed to learn that SCAA has been a strong proponent of the bill
  • Letter campaign to contact Scott and Graham directly.

U.S. Senate Passes H.R. 3471, “Fit to Serve” Bill with Patient Protections

On November 17th, the U.S. Senate passed, H.R. 3471, the Veterans Mobility Safety Act of 2015 by unanimous consent. This bill was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on September 12, 2016, and is expected to be signed into law by the President. While the legislation includes a provision that would recognize hearing aid specialists for appointment under the VA, it specifically requires that hearing aid specialists provide services only related to the practice of fitting and dispensing of hearing aids, and under a treatment plan of an audiologist.

The passage of H.R. 3471 (and the DOL decision referenced above) represent the culmination of efforts by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), American Academy of Audiology (AAA), and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA), to prevent hearing aid dispensers from inappropriately expanding their job functions and duties both within the VA system and on the state level.

Updated: 10/4/2017

Federal Legislative Issues