International Hearing Society Launches Tinnitus Care Provider Certificate Program

The Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) has recently learned about the intention of the International Hearing Society (“IHS”) to offer a Tinnitus Care Provider Certificate, which will be available to hearing aid specialists (HAS) and audiologists, beginning December 2-3, 2016, in conjunction with a two-day educational course being offered in Orlando, Florida. Please take the following link for more information: https://www.ihsinfo.org/IhsV2/tinnitus.

In the view of ADA, this is a further inappropriate step by IHS to enable HAS to provide tinnitus evaluation, management, and rehabilitation, while lacking the qualifications and training necessary to do so. This action, subsequent to the establishment of the IHS Apprenticeship Program and the Fit to Serve legislation, is intended to move HAS into many areas of audiological care, including tinnitus.
 
The creation by IHS of this proposed private certificate, the role of IHS as a primary advocate for HAS, and the political agenda and goals of IHS, make it abundantly clear that this program is also intended to help move HAS into tinnitus diagnosis and evaluation, management, and rehabilitation.
 
The IHS Tinnitus Provider Certificate Program is being marketed specifically to HAS and IHS continuing education credit is being provided for the course. Under those circumstances, while it may well never become legal for HAS to provide such services, human nature and current pressures of the marketplace may, undoubtedly, result in some participants adding rehabilitative protocols to their current practices despite applicable state law barriers.
 
If you employ an HAS in your practice, you may be asked to sponsor attendance for the IHS tinnitus program. We strongly urge you not to do so. While we cannot speak to the potential benefit of the tinnitus certificate program for audiologists, we nevertheless question the efficacy of supporting such audiologic training provided by IHS in this venue.
 
Given the damaging overarching goals of the attempted expansion of care through the use of this Tinnitus Care Provider Certificate, ADA intends to continue to monitor this issue and will send members additional information as it becomes available. In the meantime, please contact
 Stephanie Czuhajewski if you have any questions regarding the IHS Apprenticeship Program, Tinnitus Care Provider Certificate, or ADA’s plans to respond.