Diegnan, Cruz-Perez Bill to Permit Audiologists to Dispense and Fit Hearing Aids Clears Senate

TRENTON Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. and Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez which would permit certain audiologists to dispense and fit hearing aids under one license cleared the Senate today.

An audiologist is a professional who diagnoses and treats hearing and balance problems.

“36 states already include dispensing hearing aids under the audiology license. Audiologists go through extensive schooling and training to earn their licenses,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “Advance audiology programs provide the knowledge and experience necessary to fit and dispense hearing aids, there is no reason audiologists should be required to take an additional exam. This common sense legislation will increase availability of this essential service to New Jersey residents.”

“The current process is repetitive and the exam to receive a hearing aid fitting license is overly complicated and outdated,” said Senator Cruz-Perez (D-Camden/Gloucester). “Audiologists are required to display their ability to mold hearing aids and replace tubing in a manner no longer used due to advancements in technology.”

The bill, S-746, allows licensed audiologists to dispense and fit hearing aids as long as they have successfully completed coursework and clinical training from an accredited institution of higher education.

The individual must demonstrate sufficient didactic and applied experience to be competent in the dispensing and fitting of hearing aids, as determined by the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Committee.

Under current law, audiologists need two licenses; their audiology license and an additional license to fit and dispense hearing aids. This requires them to work with two separate boards and pay two separate fees.

The bill was released from the full Senate by a vote of 39-0.