The International Hearing Society (IHS) and the Nebraska Hearing Society have launched an attempt to expand the scope of hearing instrument specialists in the state to include cerumen management, tinnitus management, tympanometry, cochlear implant candidacy and subjective interpretations of tests. These state groups are pursuing this endeavor through the Nebraska state credentialing review process. A recent public meeting was held on October 17 and numerous audiologists from the state of Nebraska and other stakeholder groups spoke in opposition.
On October 11, the Academy issued an action alert to all Nebraska members and submitted a letter in opposition. Full action alert content is included below.
The Nebraska Hearing Society has requested a credentialing review of Nebraska statutes related to hearing instrument specialists (HISs) from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Nebraska DHHS has granted this credentialing review.
Hearing instrument specialists have submitted proposed amendments that would allow hearing instrument specialists to:
- “Administer and interpret tests of human hearing and middle-ear function including tympanometry”
- Determine candidacy for cochlear implants
- Conduct communication assessment and speech audiometry
- Provide tinnitus management and “therapy” (with training course)
- Perform cerumen management (with training course)
- Critical difference between education/training of HISs and audiologists [clinical doctorate vs. HS Diploma in Nebraska].The proposal would require a two-year degree, but is still insufficient.
- Education and training of HISs do NOT SUPPORT interpretation of tests, determining candidacy for cochlear implants, communication assessment, tinnitus management, or cerumen management.
- Cerumen management and tinnitus management and therapy require extensive training and experience that cannot be obtained through a short-term workshop or training course, provided by the group requesting this expansion.
- “Hearing instrument specialists” are known by this title because these individuals are specialists in one area—the selection and fitting of hearing instruments!
TAKE ACTION TODAY
- Write a letter in opposition to this proposal to:
Mr. Ron Briel, Program Manager
Credentialing Review Program/DHHS Credentialing Review
- The Nebraska Hearing Care Professionals Technical Review Committee will be holding a second meeting to discuss this proposal on October 17, 9:00 am–12:00 pm, and open to the public.
If you wish to attend the meeting by WebEx please follow these procedures: Click on this link for Cisco Webex Meetings OR Join by phone +1-408-418-9388 then enter 24857416902##
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