Accessibility and Affordability 

Improving hearing health care for US adults is an urgent public health problem and contributing to solutions is a priority for the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).

NASEM report was titled 'Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability (Released June 2, 2016). 


Put forth 12 Goals for hearing health care reform:

  1. Improve population-based information on hearing loss and hearing healthcare.

  2. Develop and promote measures to assess and improve quality of hearing healthcare services.

  3. Remove FDA regulation for medical evaluation or waiver to purchase a hearing aid.

  4. Empower consumers and patients in their use of hearing healthcare.

  5. Improve access to hearing healthcare for undeserved and vulnerable populations.

  6.  Promote hearing healthcare in wellness and medical visits.

  7. Implement a new FDA device category for Over-the-Counter wearable hearing devices

  8. Improve the compatibility and interoperability of hearing technologies with communications systems and the transparency of hearing aid programming.

  9. Improve affordability of hearing healthcare.

  10. Evaluate and implement innovative models of hearing healthcare to improve access, quality and affordability.

  11. Improve publicly available information on hearing health

  12. Promote individual, employer, private-sector, and community-based actions to support and manage hearing health and effective communications.

These goals encourage:

  • Agencies, organizations, and professionals to improve access to a wide range of services and technologies.

  • Make those services and technologies more affordable for adults with hearing loss.

  • Increase transparency to and awareness among consumers and health providers in order to help consumers make more informed choices in managing hearing loss.