Idaho State Board of Hearing Aid Dealers and Fitters
Bureau of Occupational Licenses
1109 Main Street, Suite 220
Boise, Idaho 83702-5642
(208) 334-3233


 Minutes of December 23, 2004


ROLL CALL:                          Kathleen Wachtler, Chairman

                                                Kelley Olenick

                                                William Cooper, Ph.D.


ALSO PRESENT:                   Rayola Jacobsen, Bureau Chief

                                                Budd Hetrick, Deputy Bureau Chief

                                                Roger Hales, Administrative Attorney

                                                Janice Wiedrick, Office Specialist II

                                                Bureau of Occupational Licenses


Chairman Wachtler called the meeting to order at 9:08 a.m.

The Board discussed the proposed legislation that would license Audiologists and Speech Pathologists through an advisory board under the Board of Medicine. The legislation as proposed would exempt Audiologists who fit hearing aids from licensure with the Board. 

Mr. Hales presented four options for the Boardís consideration:

            1. Stand silent

            2. Support the Legislation

            3. Oppose the Legislation

            4. Offer a compromise

The Board discussed the following:

a.       Dual licensure

b.      Including the licensure of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists
    and Hearing Aid Dealers and Fitters under one independent board.

Concerns expressed by Board members:

1.      Protecting the Public
    The mandate of the Board is to protect the health, safety and
    welfare of the public.  The current Board is mandated to regulate
    the practice of dealing and fitting hearing aids, and another
    regulatory body for that practice would be redundant.

2.      Status of the Board under the Board of Medicine
     The concept of regulatory boards is to allow both practitioners
     and the public to have input and decision making authority
     concerning the minimum competency and enforcement of a given
     practice.  An advisory board would be allowed only that input
    determined appropriate by the true unrelated regulating body.

3.      Cost of licensure
     The cost of licensure under the Board of Medicine as opposed to
     that of an independent board under the Bureau. 

The estimated cost of licensure under an expanded Board, administered by the Bureau would be approximately $100 for each license.

Ms. Olenick moved that the Board oppose the proposed legislation, and offer a compromise that would expand the existing Board to include two Audiologists, two Speech Pathologists, two Hearing Aid Dealers and Fitters and one consumer representative.  In addition, clarification that the Audiologistís scope of practice would include fitting and selling hearing aids under a combined Board at the Bureau of Occupational Licenses.

Dr. Cooper seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.

The results from the survey letter recently sent out to the licensed Hearing Aid Dealers and Fitters will be sent to the Board upon compilation.

Having no further business before them, Dr. Cooper moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:55a.m.  Ms. Olenick seconded the motion and it carried.

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Last Modified - May 11, 2006