OOD is proposing significant changes to the rule on provider qualification. It is totally re-written. Here is a link to the current rule that specifically mentions hearing aids. The new rule does not. http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/3304-2-53v1
The new rule requires certain accreditations like from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). We have heard from our members that these accreditations are primarily for hospitals and inpatient rehab centers and are very expensive. It is not clear from the rule if hearing aid providers will need to have accreditation under these new rules.
We believe these rules need to be clarified and an additional exception needs to be added for hearing aid providers. We have submited our concerns to the OOD but have not heard back yet.
SHP Board Proposes Rule Changes
As a result of legislative changes enacted with the Alliance support at the end of 2018, the Ohio Speech and Hearing Professionals board is now moving forward with a package of rule changes. All proposed rule changes can be found here: https://shp.ohio.gov/enforcement/laws-and-rules/proposed-rules/
The Alliance submitted comments of general support on March 18, 2019. We did however have a few suggested changes and questions to make the rules clearer. After the Board gathers all feedback, they will move forward with official filing.
Of considerable interest to Alliance members is the new fee structure. Several fees will be lowered and several more will be removed all together.
- Initial application for Hearing Aid Dealers – from $262 to $200
- Initial application for Hearing Aid Fitters – no change - $262
- Initial application for Trainee Permits – no change - $150
- Second Trainee Permits – no change - $105
- Renewal application for Hearing Aid Dealers – from $157 each year to $120 every two years ▪ Renewal application for Hearing Aid Fitters – from $157 each year to $120 every two years
- Duplicate Wall Certificate – from $16 for each certificate to no fee
- License verification request – from $10 for each request to no fee
- Hearing Aid Dealer Satellites – from $16 per location to no fee
- No late renewal fee from January 31 to February 28 of $183
- No late renewal fee from March 1 of $210
- Late renewal fee for Hearing Aid Dealers and Hearing Aid Fitters - $120, late fee in effect for 90 days from date of license expiration; after 90 days licensee may apply for relicensure at the initial application fee.
The rules are also updated to reflect the new 2-year license cycle.
As you know, at the beginning of 2018, Hearing Aid Dealer and Fitter Board combined with the Audiology and Speech Pathology Board to form the Ohio Speech and Hearing Professionals Board. As the board has settled into their new composition, it was found to be necessary to make changes to the licensure law to make harmonizing changes so the board could function more smoothly. A package of changes was recently passed as a part of an unrelated bill, House Bill 42.
Here is a summary of these changes. If you would like more information on any of these changes, please reach out to Alliance representative Amanda Sines at email@example.com.
- Changes your licensing cycle from one year to two years. So your license will be valid for two years in the future. The language specifically says: Each license issued is valid from the date of issuance until the thirty-first day of December of the even-numbered year that follows the date of issuance. A license issued less than one hundred days before the thirty-first day of December of an even-numbered year is valid from the date of issuance until the thirty-first day of December of the even-numbered year that follows the thirty-first day of December immediately after the date of issuance.
- Moves all fees from the law to the rules. We expect the new fees to be lower than the current fees;
- Licensees will be required to complete at least 20 hours of continuing education during each two-year licensing period. Current law requires 10 hours annually.
- Adds language at the request of the International Hearing Society (IHS) to protect their intellectual property as the Board’s testing contractor. Without this language tests could not have been administered and new licenses could not have been issued.
- Conforms disciplinary procedures to other licensed professional’s process.