The American Hearing Loss Association (HLAA) is a leading organization that represents consumers with hearing loss. Their mission is to open up the world and make it more accessible for those with hearing loss. For decades, they have been using systems to connect hospitals in large cities with rural areas where healthcare services may be limited, with the goal of improving access, reducing costs, and increasing efficiency while maintaining quality of care. Walk4Hearing is a national campaign that brings hope to people with hearing loss in 20 cities and meets them in their communities to raise awareness and show their support.
The HLAA is a tax-exempt charitable organization and is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions under Code 501 (c) (from the IRS). They are working hard to improve knowledge about hearing health, including developing tools that help people determine when their hearing problems may be due to a medical condition and if they can be treated by audiologists or other professionals other than doctors. When hearing loss is caused by damage or disease in the ear canal, eardrum, or middle ear, air conduction thresholds will be higher than bone conduction thresholds, which is known as “conductive hearing loss”.The International Hearing Society sent a letter from Kathleen Mennillo, Executive Director, to the Committee on Accessible and Affordable Hearing Care for Adults. Most of the available data on the use of hearing health care comes from surveys in which people were asked if they had recently had their hearing tested or whether or not they were wearing hearing aids.
Innovative teleaudiology technologies that could increase access in the future include home hearing tests, scanning and imaging the ear canal, and programming hearing aids at home through smartphones or tablets. When the problem focuses on function and affects daily listening and communication activities, social participation, and quality of life, the quality of care can be judged on the basis of the improvement of hearing and communication skills and of functioning and quality of life in general. It is difficult to obtain objective measures, so person satisfaction remains the main metric. In a subsequent literature review, Chisolm and Arnold (201) reduced the inclusion criteria to randomized controlled trials with control groups that included outcome measures related to quality of life and reductions in limitations related to hearing loss. However, since each person's hearing loss and hearing needs are unique, a self-adjusted or pre-programmed option may work well for some people and not for others. In any case, the goal of the evaluation is always to identify treatable conditions and assess the impact of any hearing loss on overall functioning.
The same set of hearing function tests can be used to assess both the possibility of disease and the effects of hearing loss on function, although most traditional tests focus on diagnosing the disease. To integrate retail clinics into the hearing health care system and maximize their value for people with hearing loss, clinics will need technology and support infrastructure to provide basic levels of hearing health care. It will also be interesting to determine how best to implement mobile health technologies to motivate people to adopt healthy behaviors related to hearing and communication and measure changes in communication patterns between patients and providers. So what are the costs associated with services at HLAA in Los Angeles? The cost varies depending on what services you need. HLAA offers a variety of services such as audiology evaluations, hearing aid fittings, tinnitus management services, assistive listening device fittings, counseling services, speech therapy services, balance therapy services, cochlear implant evaluations/mapping/programming/follow-up services, auditory processing disorder evaluations/therapy services, vestibular evaluations/therapy services, central auditory processing disorder evaluations/therapy services. The cost for these services can range from $50-$200 per visit depending on your insurance coverage.
HLAA also offers financial assistance programs for those who qualify. If you are interested in learning more about these programs or would like more information about HLAA's services in Los Angeles please contact them directly.