Dear OHS Members:
As you may know, since 2015 the Oregon Hearing Aid Advisory Council had been considering a request to address tinnitus management in our hearing aid specialist regulations. Oregon Hearing Society and International Hearing Society have been working closely together since that time to make our case to the Council about the appropriateness of hearing aid specialists performing limited tinnitus management. I’ve attached a copy of the IHS letter sent in 2016, which will provide you an overview of the issue at hand.
I am disappointed to report that the Council on June 15, 2018, upon advice from the council attorney, finalized a regulation that limits hearing aid specialists’ rights to assist patients who have been diagnosed with tinnitus, and make independent decisions about using the tinnitus masking feature available in most of today’s modern hearing aids without the prior recommendation of a physician. I have attached the FAQs released by the Council/Health Licensing Office, which provide a brief explanation of the application of the rule that went into effect July 1. You can view the new rule here: https://secure.sos.state.or.us/oard/viewSingleRule.action?ruleVrsnRsn=246892 (see Section (11)).
I share this with you for two reasons:
- Oregon Hearing Society wants to make sure you are aware of the new regulations and make all necessary accommodations to comply with the new rule.
- We will need your help.
Oregon Hearing Society is working with International Hearing Society to explore all options to address this inappropriate rule, which will impede our clients’ access to care. When the time comes and we issue our call to action, we need you to get involved. I hope we can count on you.
With questions, please feel free to reach out to me.
Director of Government and Chapter Affairs
International Hearing Society
16880 Middlebelt Road, Ste 4, Livonia, MI 48154
571-212-8596; fax 734-522-0200