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Subject : ew York Seeks To Allow Physicians To Provide Hearing Aid Services|
posted by kacey on Thu Apr 1, 2010 10:38 am
|Alexandria, Va — New York could take a step this year in expanding |
access to hearing aids for a growing number of people with hearing
impairment, says The American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and
Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS). State Assemblymen Jeffrey Dinowitz of the
Bronx and Micah Kellner of New York recently introduced a bill that,
should the New York Legislature adopt it, would open up physicians'
offices as an additional point of access to hearing aid services.
“Physicians’ offices are a key access point for patients entering the
hearing health system," said Dinowitz in a statement released by AAO-
HNS. "With only one in four people adopting hearing aids who could
benefit from them and the number of hearing-impaired on the rise, we
need to provide those in need of hearing aids every opportunity to get
"Patients are not being well-served by the existing law, which is anti-
business and anti-consumer,” he added.
A state law — the only of its kind in the country — prohibits physicians
who medically evaluate hearing loss from deriving a profit from hearing
aid sales, the statement said, adding that, as a result, few, if any,
physicians’ offices offer hearing aid services to their patients since
doing so is economically unworkable despite their being an appropriate
and convenient setting for consumers.
Dinowitz and Kellner outlined multiple benefits of a change to the law,
including enhancing patients’ access to treatment services and
increasing competition among providers, potentially driving down the
cost for hearing aids for patients, according to the statement.
Additionally, patients would be able to have continuity of care provided
by their physicians, which is particularly advantageous when patients
have complex medical conditions, said the statement. The AAO-HNS
notes that a 2009 Consumer Reports article indicated that the best
provider of hearing aids is a medical office headed by an
otolaryngologist (ENT physician) with an audiologist on staff — an
unlikely option in New York unless the law is changed.
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