Boycott Internet Hearing Aid Sales, a grassroots organization founded in late 2010 by EarQ Group founder and president Edward Keller and other hearing health professionals, has announced that it is changing its web address and name to “Ban Internet Hearing Aid Sales.”
The organization was formed to bring attention to the negative effects of online hearing aid sales, and to support hearing health private practices and quality hearing health care. Currently, it has about 2,500 supporters, according to a public count on its new website.
In a recently released statement, the organization said that the name change “more closely aligns with our objective and better reflects the feeling of the industry. Our goal is to create standards that ban Internet hearing aid sales through the appropriate channels.”
The statement also noted a recent success, convincing Best Buy to remove online sales of hearing aids from their website.
Nevertheless, the trend in online hearing aid sales appears to be growing, with insurance giant UnitedHealth (UH) offering diagnostic testing and sales over the web through a new subsidiary, hi HealthInnovations.
The entry of UH into online hearing aid sales has prompted recent letters from the IHS, ADA, and AAA, which are saying that hi HealthInnovations is not in compliance with FDA regulations for the marketing of hearing aids. They also suggest that the company is in violation of most, if not all, state licensing laws.
Similarly, Ban Internet Hearing Aid Sales is now urging supporters to contact state Attorneys General, state Departments of Health, and national lawmakers about crafting legislation to ban online hearing aid sales.
“It is through a united industry-led effort that we will halt this affront to the long-standing quality hearing healthcare delivery system that millions of people have come to rely on,” the organization said in its name-change press release.