POWERFUL

Honesty, commitment and RELIABILITY

NC Association of Hearing care Professionals 


Providers & Consumers

"Our commitment to advocacy is directly proportionate to our commitment to our profession, and more importantly, our commitment to those we serve.  


North Carolinians, with hearing loss, deserve access and choices when selecting a hearing care professional to meet their need for effective hearing aids." 










-John Clell Hamm, Legislative Chairman
Please contact me directly: clell@hammhearingaids.com



Our Leaders Working Hard 

2013 - Health Insurance will cover hearing aids dispensed by Hearing Aid Specialists

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Senate Bill 248/Session Law 2013-296

This bill amends North Carolina General Statute 58-50-30 to add that insured persons have the right to choose any duly licensed hearing aid specialist for services offered within the scope of practice for a duly licensed hearing aid specialist.  This change applies to the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees ("Plan").  The Plan typically only covers hearing aids provided in a physician's office and this bill now requires the Plan to also cover hearing aids provided by a hearing aid specialist operating independently of a physician.  
The bill also amends North Carolina General Statute 93D-5 to increase the licensure fee for persons fitting and selling hearing aids to $500 from $250.  

The effective date of this legislative is October 1, 2013.



GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS OVERVIEW – 2011 NCAHCP BOARD MEETING  
 ACHIEVED OBJECTIVES
 

NCAHCP has increased its presence with key lawmakers within the NC General Assembly.

Senator Fletcher Hartsell:              Chair of Senate Finance Committee
Senator Stan Bingham:                  Chair Senate Health Committee
Representative Jeff Barnhart:        Chair of Full House Appropriations Committee 

 

NCAHCP has increased its presence with key policy-makers within NC.

Secretary Lanier Cansler:              Secretary of Health & Human Services
Sharnese Ransome:                      Director Government Relations – NC HHS
Secretary David Hoyle:                  Secretary of Revenue

 

Senate Bill (“SB”) 670  (Session Law 2011-311)  2011 Legislative Session

We proactively introduced SB 670 to counter any potential costly and protracted legal battle that would potentially result from the September 30, 2010 Advisory Opinion from the NC General Assembly regarding a Request for Declaratory Ruling on Dual Licensure of Audiologists.
       
SB 670 amends N.C.G.S. 93D to delete the requirement that one (1) member of the NC State Hearing Aid Dealers & Fitters Board (“Board”) be an audiologist, and it further requires that four (4) members of the Board be actively engaged in fitting and selling hearing aids as well as be licensed pursuant to N.C.G.S. Chapter 93D. 
       
SB 670specifies that the terms of the members on the Board who are currently audiologists expire the date the bill became law.
       
SB 670 requires those who are working pursuant to an apprentice license to be registered in accordance with N.C.G.S. 93D-9.
       
SB 670 amends N.C.G.S. 93D-3(c)(14) to authorize the Board to set a fee of $150/year for the registration of persons not licensed under N.C.G.S. Chapter 93D providing supervision of apprentices registered under N.C.G.S. 93D-9.
       
SB 670requires one (1) member of the Board to be a person with hearing loss.
       
SB 670 incorporates the federal definition of “Hearing Aid Specialist” in an attempt to maintain consistent language regarding insurance benefits uniform throughout the country.  This was a specific request from the International Hearing Society (“IHS”).  As a direct result thereof, we now have a stronger working relationship with leaders within IHS and will continue to build upon this relationship in the future. 

 

Senate Bill (“SB”) 1242  (Session Law 2010 -97)  2010 Legislative Session

During the 2009 Legislative Session, the audiologists lobbied to enact House Bill (“HB”) 589.  HB 589 requires the NC State Health Plan (“the Plan”), and other health benefit plans subject to Chapter 58 of the NC General States, to provide hearing equipment coverage for hearing impaired plan members up to the age of 22 years.  The limit on coverage, as set forth by HB 589, is $2,500.00 per hearing aid per hearing impaired ear plus related services every 36 months per qualifying plan member. 
       
SB 1242 amends HB 589 (specifically N.C.G.S. 58-3-285(a)) to include those persons licensed under Chapter 93D to be eligible to fit hearing aids pursuant to Chapter 58.

  

Cost of Living Adjustment (“COLA”) as pertains to SB 670

SB 670 authorizes the Board to set a fee of $150/year for the registration of persons not licensed under Chapter 93D providing supervision of apprentices registered underN.C.G.S. 93D-9. 
       
The NC General Assembly has a strict policy of not drafting legislation that allows for a
COLA via general statute – rather, advocacy groups must return to the NC General Assembly at a later date to request and present evidence that a COLA is necessary and justified. 
       
In order to remain viable, the Board will need to return to the NC General Assembly to request and lobby for a
COLA of the aforementioned registration.   

 
Continue to advocate for insurance inclusion for hearing care professionals/Third-Party Pay

As originally enacted, our professionals were specifically excluded from the benefits of third-party pay by HB 589.  We had to not only specifically lobby for this inclusion, but we were forced to justify the rationale for the same against the objections of the audiology community and their registered lobbyist/advocates. 
       
We must continue to be vigilant against such continued inclusive measures, and lobby for “equal protection” of our livelihood and industry. 

 

Audiologists with Masters Degree/NC Attorney General Opinion 9/30/10

The AG Opinion did not specifically address those individuals who are licensed as an audiologist with a Masters Degree.  As such, the NCAHCP needs to discuss and strategize as to how we would like to address the dual licensure of such individuals.
       


Board Appoints to

NC State Hearing Aid Dealers & Fitters Board

We continue to work closely with Governor Perdue’s Office, as well as legislative leaders to push forward candidates who are closely aligned with our objectives to the Board. 
       
Such efforts include frequent meetings with legislative leaders as well as letters of support for the same. 


Have a voice and speak with our Legislative Chairperson today.

We  want to reach out to these individuals to provide education and support the growth for hearing providers and consumers.