The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and its Committee on Accessible and Affordable Hearing Health Care for Adults will hold its third of three public workshops on Thursday, September 10 at the Keck Center of The National Academies in Washington, DC. As covered previously on, this IOM series of meetings addresses many of the most important and controversial topics related to affordability and disparities in access for hearing aids and assistive devices, as well as the treatment of tinnitus (excluded are surgical and pharmaceutical approaches and pediatric hearing care).

The Thursday, September 10 meeting, which is chaired by Dan Blazer, is comprised of 3 panel presentations, followed by panel discussions. The topic presentations are:

  • Panel 1: International Perspective (Facilitator: Frank Lin; Presenters: Adrian Davis, via Webex; Curtis Alcock, Audira, via Webex; Mark Laureyns, AEA, European Association of Hearing Aid Professionals, via Webex)
  • Panel 2: Young Adult Perspective (Facilitator: Kate Seelman; Presenters: Zina Jawadi, Stanford University, via Webex; Patrick Holkins, Department of Justice)
  • Panel 3: Improving Accessibility and Affordability (Facilitator: Darrell Gaskin; Presenters: Ateev Mehrotra, Harvard Medical School; David Zapala, Mayo Clinic, IOM Committee Member; Jani Johnson, University of Memphis; Gustav Chiarello, Federal Trade Commission)

The full agenda is available on the IOM website.

The meetings are categorized as a “Consensus Study” that will culminate in a Consensus Report by May 2016. In the first meeting, as well as in a January 2014 IOM-NRC meeting titled “Hearing Loss and Healthy Aging,” panelists provided background on the importance of hearing to individual and societal health, including issues such as isolation, social connectivity, well being, and economic productivity. They also examined federal regulations for hearing aid dispensing by asking if current regulations—including the “medical waiver system” and FDA’s classification of hearing aids and PSAPs—provide a clinically meaningful benefit to adults with hearing loss and what the required federal regulatory paradigm should be.

The second IOM meeting, held June 30, 2015, was comprised of 6 panel presentations, followed by panel discussions. The topic presentations were:

  • Panel 1: Impact of Hearing Impairment and Use of Services
  • Panel 2: Hearing Health Care Providers and Scope of Practice
  • Panel 3: Affordability and Coverage
  • Panel 4: Hearing Health Care Service Delivery
  • Panel 5: Devices
  • Panel 6: Consumer Perspective

Additional details on the second meeting are available in the July 8, 2015 blog post from Hearing Review’s chief editor Karl Strom.

For more details about the third meeting of the IOM, and to register remotely, visit the IOM meeting website.