Meeting Summary

NEW  YORK  STATE  HEARING  AID  DISPENSING  ADVISORY BOARD
DRAFT MEETING SUMMARY

May 23, 2013

The meeting was held at the Department of State, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany; 123 William Street; and, 65 Court Street, Buffalo.


I.  INTRODUCTIONS, ROLL CALL AND QUORUM ANNOUNCEMENT

The meeting was called to order at 10:35 a.m.  K. Simon took roll call and declared there was a quorum present.  The official attendance was as follows:


BOARD MEMBERS
David A. Beaulac
Florence Butler
Kathleen Cassidy
John Kenul
Ana Hae-Ok Kim
Shawn Newlands
Anne Orsene
Excused:
Edward Aleo
Anthony Macera

EX-OFFICIO BOARD MEMBERS
Keith Simon, representing
Cesar Perales, Secretary of State,
Board Chair
Erin Finnigan, representing
Nirav R. Shaf, Commissioner,
NYS Department of Health
James Hinds, representing
John B. King, Commissioner,
NYS Education Department

DEPARTMENT OF STATE STAFF
Whitney Clark, Counsel
Aiesha Battle, Director, Division of Consumer Protection
Michael Elmendorf
Aqil Qureshi
Mary Jo Moore
Amy Penzabene
Marc Mastrobuono
Carol Fansler

VISITORS
Barbara Ahern, Hearing Health Care Alliance of NY
(HHCANY)
Fred Goossen, HHCANY, International Hearing Society (IHS)
Shauneen McNally, NYS Speech-Language-Hearing
Association (NYSSLHA)

K. Simon reminded everyone about the use of the microphones for the special hearing aid equipment, and asked the other locations to mute their microphone when they were not speaking, to avoid any other noises coming through the special equipment.

II.        APPROVAL OF MEETING SUMMARY

K. Simon asked for a motion to accept the January 23, 2013 meeting summary.  D. Beaulac made a motion to accept the January 23, 2013 meeting summary.  The motion was seconded by J. Kenul and passed unanimously.

III.       SUBCOMMITTEE AND DEPARTMENT REPORTS

K. Simon spoke for the subcommittee formed to discuss using a national exam, specifically the International Hearing Society's (IHS) International Licensing Exam for Hearing Health Professions (ILE), in place of the NYS developed Hearing Aid Dispenser exam.  He said that a conference call was held with two of the members of the subcommittee, E Aleo and J Kenul.  He said that after some discussion, he indicated to the other members that it was the Department's decision to continue to use the NYS developed exam.  He said the department feels the current exam serves its purpose and is substantially less expensive to the applicant than the national exam.  He said that he asked the subcommittee members to participate as Subject Matter Experts (SME's) to review the content of the current exam, update test items when necessary, and develop new test items.  D. Beaulac stated that he thought use of the national exam would help with reciprocity with other states and feels that a national exam is updated more regularly than the state exam.  J. Kenul stated that, while he is not against using the state developed exam, he also believes the national exam is updated on a regular basis and that the national exam that he also thought it would help with reciprocity.  J Kenul also stated that he thought the State may gain revenue if more people register in NYS based on the national exam and that use of the national exam would save the state money as a result of not having to pay for proctors and exam sites to conduct the exam.  K. Simon responded that the use of the national exam was not the answer to the reciprocity issue.  He explained that in a true reciprocity situation, an agreement would be in place that would allow a licensee in good standing in one state to be able to obtain a license in another state by virtue of just applying.  There would not be any additional education required or the need to take any exam. He stated that there are no reciprocity agreements currently in place.  Therefore, applicants from another state must meet the requirements of NYS.  In doing so, they may seek waivers for the educational requirements, but the NYS statute is very specific in that the requirements of the other states are equivalent to or higher than NYS.  He stated the biggest hindrance to people coming from other states was meeting these educational requirements, specifically the need for two years of college. K Simon stated that replacing the NYS developed exam with the national exam would have no bearing on this issue of reciprocity.  K Simon indicated that in regard to the IHS's ILE exam, he had nothing bad to say about it at all.  It's a fine exam, but felt that the NYS developed exam was fine as well.  He briefly explained that the contents of both exams are similar and the process in developing them was similar as well.  As for the notion that the state would save money by eliminating proctors and exam sites, K Simon indicated that the Hearing Aid Dispenser exam is given at the same time as a number of other licensing exams and, therefore, no proctors or exam sites would be eliminated.

A letter from an audiologist about the need for insurance for hearing aids was shared with board members.  F. Butler stated that she agrees that better insurance is needed for hearing aids.  Members agreed, but as D. Beaulac stated insurance is not within the board’s jurisdiction and the department does not regulate insurance.

IV.       ACTION ITEMS

W. Clark shared that allowing out of state experience (reciprocity), which was mentioned in the previous discussion, would require a statutory change, since the statute is very specific that other states must have comparable requirements.  She will explore the possibility of a legislative amendment.

V.        PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

F. Goossen shared information about the International Licensing Exam (ILE).  He questioned whether the ILE exam would be acceptable in lieu of the state exam.  He believes training resources should be recommended to students.  He also stated that he thinks the board should again look at internet sale of hearing aids.

VI.       NEW BUSINESS

In regard to the internet sale of hearing aids, W. Clark stated that counsel’s office is currently working on a case regarding the sale of hearing aids over the internet.  Since it is a pending enforcement case she can’t share any further information at this point.

J. Hinds from the Education Department shared that their State Board for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology has a vacancy for an audiologist. 

VII.     ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 p.m.