The Academy criticized the administration's dismissive view of the audiologist as the primary hearing health care specialist, especially given the fact that audiologists play an instrumental role in ensuring the effectiveness and safety of a hearing aid prescription. The letter also highlights "grave concerns" about the simplification of hearing loss and treatment that the administration is taking in its executive order.
"The Academy urges the HHS to recognize the critical role of the audiologist in helping consumers to navigate
the various options and determine the type of device that would be most appropriate to treat their diagnosed
degree of hearing loss," wrote Academy President Dr. Angela Shoup. "It is through involvement of an audiologist that consumers will achieve the best possible outcomes with OTC hearing aids and avoid the risks of under- or untreated hearing loss."
Additionally, the Academy noted that it will reach out to HHS staff as a follow-up to the letter. It is also preparing for the release or proposed hearing aid regulations, and will respond as needed to represent the interest of the audiologist stakeholder community.