The Audiology Elephant – By Angela Loavenbruck
In my last entry, I examined the mythical elephant PCAST created in its examination of the hearing healthcare system. The creature seemed to be purely product – no professional services needed – and closely resembled the vision of the Consumer Electronics Association and PSAP manufacturers.
In many ways, the PCAST report is the epitome of the commoditization of hearing healthcare.
The word audiologist was barely used in the report while the more generic “dispenser” and “hearing health care provider” were used more often. Without any evidence whatsoever, the PCAST vision delegated those with mild to moderate hearing loss – the largest category of hearing impaired individuals – into a category where self-diagnosis, self-fitting and self-adjusting are all that is needed.