The New York State Senate is expected to vote today on a bill that would create a Westchester County pilot program to allow physician practices to dispense hearing aids for a significant profit.
- This legislation may jeopardize independent audiology practices and thereby limit a patient’s choice of provider.
- Contradicts current New York State prohibition on physician self-referral. The current law prohibits physicians from benefitting financially from the sale of products/services ordered by the physician—including hearing aids to prevent conflicts of interest.
- The Government Accounting Office (GAO) has found that exemptions to physician self-referral laws result in higher costs to the health-care system and consumers.
- Current law already permits physicians to dispense hearing aids to patients and allows a modest profit (5%). This law would vastly expand the profit margin for physicians.
- This legislation would allow hearing aid dispensers and audiologists employed by an otolaryngologist to dispense hearing aids for a profit; however, this legislation is designed for the benefit of the physician practice.
Contact your State Senator Immediately!!
See Academy Legislative Action Center to find contact information for your New York State Senator.