ADA Takes a Stand on Internet Hearing Aid Sales
The Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) broke some big news this week, making its strongest public statement on the issue of Internet hearing aid sales since United Healthcare announced its plan to provide online hearing testing and allow the purchase of hearing aids via the Web.
In the news release, ADA President Eric Hagberg, AuD, commented that United Healthcare's offering "undermines every good practice with regard to hearing healthcare as this diagnosis and delivery model is unsound, unsafe and unreliable." He added that without the proper diagnosis, counseling, hearing aid fitting and follow-up evaluations, successful treatment for hearing loss cannot be achieved.
The release also includes a number of hyperlinks leadings to sites with more detailed information on the risks and regulations involved in Internet hearing aid sales, as well as a timeline of statements made on the issue by leading hearing healthcare organizations.
The ADA's release is, as far as we've seen, the most complete effort to educate providers and patients on the issue. From a practice management standpoint, we feel it would be wise for all our readers to explore the links and information provided by the ADA so you can be prepared to counsel your patients to the fullest degree. We also encourage conversation on the issue. Please let us know whether your patients are asking about Internet hearing aid sales and, if so, how you're approaching that conversation.