Audiology in Brief In late January, Rep. Jim Ryun (R-KS) reintroduced two bills in the U.S. House of Representatives that are important to audiologists. The “Hearing Health Accessibility Act of 2005,” H.R. 415, would allow Medicare beneficiaries the option of going directly to a qualified audiologist for hearing and balance diagnostic tests. ... News in Brief
Free
News in Brief  |   March 01, 2005
Audiology in Brief
Author Notes
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   March 01, 2005
Audiology in Brief
The ASHA Leader, March 2005, Vol. 10, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB3.10032005.5
The ASHA Leader, March 2005, Vol. 10, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB3.10032005.5
Direct Access, Hearing Aid Tax Credit Bills Brought Back to Congress
In late January, Rep. Jim Ryun (R-KS) reintroduced two bills in the U.S. House of Representatives that are important to audiologists. The “Hearing Health Accessibility Act of 2005,” H.R. 415, would allow Medicare beneficiaries the option of going directly to a qualified audiologist for hearing and balance diagnostic tests. Currently Medicare beneficiaries with hearing loss or balance disorders are required to obtain a physician referral before seeing an audiologist. This bill would align Medicare “direct access” with programs administered by the federal Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Veterans Affairs, that allow patients to see audiologists without a physician referral.
Ryun also reintroduced H.R. 414, the “Hearing Aid Tax Credit Act of 2005,” which would provide a tax credit of up to $500 per device toward the purchase of one hearing aid every five years. The tax credit is non-refundable and may be used by a parent purchasing a hearing aid for a dependent child or parent ($500 per dependent per device) or by individuals aged 55 or older who purchase a hearing aid.
Visit http://takeaction.asha.org and contact your representatives to urge support for these bills. For more information contact Reed Franklin by e-mail at rfranklin@asha.org or by phone at 800-498-2071, ext. 4473.
Hearing Aid Sales Top 2 Million
In 2004 hearing aid purchases in the United States topped 2 million for the first time, breaking the record for annual sales, according to the Hearing Industries Association (HIA). The HIA’s sales statistics show the exact number as 2,146,095. The digital trend continues, with 83% of hearing aids purchased having digital technology.
The million-sales mark was passed in 1983, “with the help of President Reagan,” said HIA Chairman Jerry Ruzicka in a press release.
“This second-million mark is an important one, but it took much too long to get here,” he said. “Together we must all ensure that it is not another two decades for the next million.”
He noted that HIA programs for 2005 and beyond, including the Association’s aggressive support for a hearing aid purchase tax credit, are all targeted to the goal of increasing the absolute numbers, as well as the percentage of individuals with hearing losses who benefit from using hearing aids.
The HIA’s Statistical Program is based on the voluntary participation of HIA members who report sales on a quarterly basis. The report reflects “virtually all the hearing aid sales in the United States” by model (CIC, ITE, BTE, etc.), by type of technology (digital, programmable, and classic), and by state destination, according to the HIA.
Visit the Hearing Industries Association Web site for more information.
0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
March 2005
Volume 10, Issue 3