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 Commerce Committee today.
“Advance audiology programs provide the knowledge and experience necessary to fit and dispense hearing aids,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “Audiologists go through extensive schooling and training to earn their licenses. It’s time we join the 36 other states who allow dispensing hearing aids to fall under the audiology license.”
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.
“Not only is the current process repetitive, but the exam to receive a hearing aid fitting license is outdated,” said Senator Cruz-Perez (D-Camden/Gloucester). “It requires audiologists to display their ability to mold hearing aids in a manner no longer used due to advancements in technology.”
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 cleared committee by a vote of 4-0 and next heads to the full Senate for further consideration.