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Ask MNCDHH: How Do I Learn More About My Audiologist

You ask, we answer

12/14/2018 5:44:19 PM

A hearing aid inserted in an ear icon, along with the words,

Question: “I recently bought a hearing aid costing more than $2,000. I have a severe loss in that ear, nothing much left in the other. My husband paid for it right away, while I would have preferred checking with other dealers for the best cost. Too late to change now. I hope my audiologist is a reputable one. Is there any way I can check online for this info? Thanks!”

Answer: This is a great question! Audiologists in the state of Minnesota are held to the highest standards. There is also a strong Minnesota hearing aid return law in place. If you would like to return your hearing aid because it isn’t working well for you or you feel it was not worth the cost, you can and should return it to your audiologist within 45 days after your purchase. We cannot evaluate the cost of your hearing aid because we would need to know more information. However, the price you quoted is in the range of what is expected of a good quality hearing aid. If you go talk to your audiologist, they will be more than happy to work with you.

If 45 days are not past, you can check and see if your hearing aids have a t-coil. T-coils are not required to be part of the package and some dispensers think that they are old technology, but the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) and other advocacy organizations encourage consumers to request them. 

MNCDHH recently passed a law that requires that Capitol Bonding projects have meeting rooms install looping systems. Loop Minnesota has successfully advocated for over 150 meeting spaces to be looped. If your warranty period has not expired, and you do not have a t-coil, go back and ask for an exchange with the coils. 

So for anyone who is purchasing hearing aids, we encourage you to ask your audiologist for a t-coil, so that you can connect to loop systems in your area. 

Now let's address your question on how you can check if your audiologist is reputable. There are two ways you can get an idea:

  • You can see if complaints have been made against an audiologist or a hearing instrument dispenser, you can visit the Better Business Bureau.
  • You can call the Department of Health at 651-201-3729 (voice only) to see if an audiologist or hearing aid dispenser has been disciplined. They can also provide you with a copy of a disciplinary action. 

Additional information

  • Special thanks to Dr. Peggy Nelson, one of MNCDHH's board members and an audiology professor, for her help with answering this question. 
  • You can learn more on MNCDHH's website about hearing aids for adults with information regarding your rights while purchasing hearing aids in accordance with state and federal laws.
  • For further information on Minnesota's Hearing Aid Return Policy.
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