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TITLE 22EXAMINING BOARDS
PART 32STATE BOARD OF EXAMINERS FOR SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY AND AUDIOLOGY
CHAPTER 741SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGISTS AND AUDIOLOGISTS
SUBCHAPTER HFITTING AND DISPENSING OF HEARING INSTRUMENTS
RULE §741.104Joint Rule Regarding the Sale of Hearing Instruments

(a) This section constitutes the rule required by the Act to be adopted jointly with the State Committee of Examiners in the Fitting and Dispensing of Hearing Instruments. The requirements of this section shall be repealed or amended only through consultation with, and mutual action by, the State Committee of Examiners in the Fitting and Dispensing of Hearing Instruments.

(b) Guidelines for a 30 consecutive day trial period.

  (1) All clients shall be informed of a 30 consecutive day trial period by written contract for services. All charges associated with such trial period shall be included in this written contract for services, which shall include the name, address, and telephone number of the State Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.

  (2) Any client purchasing one or more hearing instruments shall be entitled to a refund of the purchase price advanced by the client for the hearing instrument(s), less the agreed-upon amount associated with the trial period, upon return of the instrument(s), in good condition, to the licensed audiologist or licensed intern in audiology within the trial period ending 30 consecutive days from the date of delivery. Should the order be canceled by the client prior to the delivery of the hearing instrument(s), the licensed audiologist or licensed intern in audiology may retain the agreed-upon charges and fees as specified in the written contract for services. The client shall receive the refund due no later than the 30th day after the date on which the client cancels the order or returns the hearing instrument(s), in good condition, to the licensed audiologist or licensed intern in audiology.

  (3) Should the hearing instrument(s) have to be returned to the manufacturer for repair or remake during the trial period, the 30 consecutive day trial period begins anew. The trial period begins on the day the client reclaims the repaired/remade hearing instrument(s). The expiration date of the new 30 consecutive day trial period shall be made available to the client in writing, through an amendment to the original written contract. The amendment shall be signed by both the licensed audiologist or licensed intern in audiology and the client.

  (4) On delivery of a new replacement hearing instrument(s) during the trial period, the serial number of the new instrument(s), the delivery date of the hearing instrument(s), and the date of the expiration of the 30 consecutive trial period must be stated in writing.

  (5) If the date of the expiration of the 30 consecutive day trial period falls on a holiday, weekend, or a day the business is not open, the expiration date shall be the first day the business reopens.

(c) Upon the sale of any hearing instrument(s) or change of model or serial number of the hearing instrument(s), the owner shall ensure that each client receives a written contract that contains:

  (1) the date of sale;

  (2) the make, model, and serial number of the hearing instrument(s);

  (3) the name, address, and telephone number of the principal place of business of the license holder who dispensed the hearing instrument;

  (4) a statement that the hearing instrument is new, used, or reconditioned;

  (5) the length of time and other terms of the guarantee and by whom the hearing instrument is guaranteed;

  (6) a copy of the written forms (relating to waiver forms);

  (7) a statement on or attached to the written contract for services, in no smaller than 10-point bold type, as follows: "The client has been advised that any examination or representation made by a licensed audiologist or licensed intern in audiology in connection with the fitting and selling of the hearing instrument(s) is not an examination, diagnosis or prescription by a person duly licensed and qualified as a physician or surgeon authorized to practice medicine in the State of Texas and, therefore, must not be regarded as medical opinion or advice;"

  (8) a statement on the face of the written contract for services, in no smaller than 10-point bold type, as follows: "If you have a complaint against a licensed audiologist or intern in audiology, you may contact the State Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, P.O. Box 149347, Austin, Texas 78714-9347, telephone 1-800-942-5540;"

  (9) the printed name, license type, signature and license number of the licensed audiologist or licensed intern in audiology who dispensed the hearing instrument;

  (10) the supervisor's name, license type, and license number, if applicable;

  (11) a recommendation for a follow-up appointment within 30 days after the hearing instrument fitting;

  (12) the expiration date of the 30 consecutive day trial period under subsection (b) of this section; and

  (13) the dollar amount charged for the hearing instrument and the dollar amount charged for the return or restocking fee, if applicable.

(d) Record keeping. The owner of the dispensing practice shall ensure that records are maintained on every client who receives services in connection with the fitting and dispensing of hearing instruments. Such records shall be preserved for at least five years after the date of the last visit. All of the business's records and contracts are solely the property of the person who owns the business. Client access to records is governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The records must be available for the board's inspection and shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

  (1) pertinent case history;

  (2) source of referral and appropriate documents;

  (3) medical evaluation or waiver of evaluation;

  (4) copies of written contracts for services and receipts executed in connection with the fitting and dispensing of each hearing instrument provided;

  (5) a complete record of hearing tests, and services provided; and

  (6) all correspondence specifically related to services provided to the client or the hearing instrument(s) fitted and dispensed to the client.

(e) The written contract and trial period information provided to a client in accordance with this section, orally and in writing, shall be in plain language designed to be easily understood by the average consumer.


Source Note: The provisions of this §741.104 adopted to be effective May 22, 2012, 37 TexReg 3736

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