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AHS : consumers

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Consumer Information​


How Maryland Protects Your Health Care 

What is the Board of Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers and Speech-Language Pathologists?
What is an Audiologist?
What is a Hearing Aid Dispenser?
What is a Speech-Language Pathologist
Must audiologists, hearing aid dispensers and speech-language pathologists be licensed to practice in Maryland?
How does the Board help the consumer?  What information can the Board provide?
How Can I Find an Audiologist, Hearing Aid Dispenser or Speech-Language Pathologist?

I have just discovered that my child is deaf.  Are there any resources in Maryland for parents of deaf children?

Can a consumer purchase hearing aids over the Internet or through mail order?

There are a lot of on-line advertiements that look a little dubious.  How does a consumer determine if an audiologist or hearing aid dispenser holds a valid license in their profession?


 

What is the Board of Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers and Speech-Language Pathologists?

The Board of Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers and Speech-Language Pathologists regulates the practice of audiology, hearing aid dispensing and speech-language pathology to ensure that these services are provided by qualified practitioners. The Board is composed of 13 members:  3 Audiologists, 3 Hearing Aid Dispensers, 3 Speech-Language Pathologists, 2 Otolaryngologists and 2 Consumer Members. It is the Board’s responsibility to:

  • Credential and approve applicants for licensure;
  • Renew licenses of qualified practitioners every two years;
  • Promulgate and adopt regulations governing these three professions;
  • Administer examinations to candidates for Hearing Aid Dispenser licenses twice a year;
  • Monitor a continuing education program;
  • Investigate complaints against licensees concerning alleged violations of the law and regulations;
  • Conduct hearings concerning these violations if necessary; and
  • Discipline licensees found to be in violation of the law and regulations.

The Board serves the citizens of Maryland by ensuring that practitioners are qualified to assist persons with communication and hearing disorders within the scope of practice of their license.

 

What is an Audiologist?

An Audiologist is a health care professional who has a Master’s or Doctoral Degree in Audiology, has completed a period of post-graduate supervised practice and has passed the National Examination in Audiology.  Audiologists specialize in the prevention, identification and assessment of hearing and related disorders and provide treatment, rehabilitative services and counseling. Audiologists fit and dispense hearing aids and other assistive devices.

 

What is a Hearing Aid Dispenser?

A Hearing Aid Dispenser is a health care professional who has obtained at least six months of training under the supervision of a practicing fully licensed hearing aid dispenser and has passed the Board’s written and practical examinations. Hearing Aid Dispensers perform hearing tests, make impressions of the ear for an ear mold, provide advice as to the choice or use of a hearing aid by a hearing impaired individual and fit and dispense hearing aids.

 

What is a Speech-Language Pathologist?

A Speech-Language Pathologist is a health care professional who has a Master’s or Doctoral Degree, has completed a period of post-graduate supervised training and has passed the National Examination in Speech-Language Pathology.  Speech-Language Pathologists specialize in the prevention, identification and evaluation of communication and swallowing disorders and provide treatment and rehabilitative services for speech, language, voice and swallowing disorders.

 

 

What is a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant?

A Speech-Language Pathology Assistant is a health care professional who has a Associate's Degree or Bachelor's degree in communication disorders and has completed a period of post-graduate supervised training.  Speech-Language Pathology Assistants provide services under the supervision of a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist.

 

Must audiologists, hearing aid dispensers and speech-language pathologists be licensed to practice in Maryland?

Audiologists, hearing aid dispensers and speech-language pathologists must be licensed to practice in Maryland unless they are employees of the Federal Government.  Speech-language pathologists continuously employed by a public school system in Maryland on or before October 1, 2007 are exempt from licensure.

 

How does the Board help the consumer?  What information can the Board provide?

Consumers may contact the Board office at 410-764-4725 to verify that an audiologist, hearing aid dispenser, speech-language pathologist or speech-language pathology assistant holds a current, valid license to practice in Maryland and that no formal disciplinary action has been taken against the practitioner.  The Board can also tell consumers how long a practitioner has been licensed and when the practitioner’s current license expires.

Consumers may also file a complaint against a practitioner licensed by the Board.  Consumers who wish to file a complaint should review the information under the complaint section of the menu.

The Board regulates the professional practice of audiologists, hearing aid dispensers, speech-language pathologists, and speech-language pathology assistants.  However, the Board does not have jurisdiction over fee disputes, refunds or other economic issues where there does not appear to be a claim of fraud or misrepresentation. The Board may refer such complaints to the Consumer Protection Division (CPD) of the Attorney General’s Office.

 

How Can I Find an Audiologist, Hearing Aid Dispenser or Speech-Language Pathologist?

The Board cannot recommend specific practitioners.  Consumers may be able to obtain assistance in locating practitioners through a local city or county Health Department. Consumers can also click on the following association links to request a list of practitioners in specified local areas:

 

        

 

                                                                                               

Hearing or Speech Services for Children:
Child Find
(contact your local elementary school)

           

I have just discovered that my child is deaf.  Are there any resources in Maryland for parents of deaf children?

The Parents' Place of Maryland provides support to parents and families of deaf children.  The Parents' Place is a state funded program that is a part of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.  To learn more please call 410-768-9100 or visit their website here.

Can a consumer purchase hearing aids over the Internet or through mail order? ​

The Board strongly recommends an examination by a licensed audiologist or licensed hearing aid dispenser or licensed physcian with expertise in ear nose and throat disorders.

There are a lot of on-line advertiements that look a little out of the ordinary to me.  How does a consumer determine if an audiologist or hearing aid dispenser holds a valid license in their profession?

The Board is aware of many online advertisements that have been created by out-of-country entities that mistakenly depict hearing aid dispensers as audiologists.  Any consumer has the right to ask their health care professional to display their current license.  Any consumer has the right to call the Board to verify the licensure status of their health care professionals.

Maryland's Commitment to Veterans

Maryland's Commitment to Veterans is a program under the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene that collaborates with various state and federal agencies to assist veterans and their families with coordination of behavior health services and substance-abuse treatment programs, facilitates and covers transportation costs to behavior health appointments, provides information and referrals related to VA benefits and other resources, and provides educational outreach.  Call 1-877-770-4801 for more information.

 

Maryland Relay 711

Office of Governor