Starkey Launches Listen Carefully
Advocacy initiative focuses on giving hearing healthcare providers a voice in Washington, D.C.
Eden Prairie, Minnesota (September 21, 2021) – Starkey has launched Listen Carefully, an initiative aimed at bridging the conversation between hearing healthcare providers and lawmakers in Washington, D.C. The effort follows President Joe Biden’s recent executive order that calls on the Department of Health and Human Services to consider issuing proposed rules for hearing aids to be sold over the counter (OTC). These devices are a new category of hearing aids that consumers will be able to buy directly, without visiting a hearing healthcare professional.
“As the largest American-owned hearing aid manufacturer, Starkey has a responsibility to share accurate information with lawmakers about hearing healthcare, to help guide informed legislative policies,” said Starkey President and CEO Brandon Sawalich. “We invite our partners in hearing healthcare to join us in these efforts, by sharing their questions, concerns and perspectives. Together, we will be a voice for the millions of Americans who suffer from hearing loss and are looking to officials in Washington to get OTC hearing aid regulation and Medicare expansion right.”
Legislation to expand Medicare coverage is also currently in the works. Currently, traditional Medicare does not cover hearing evaluations for the purpose of obtaining a hearing aid or hearing aids themselves. Listen Carefully will also focus on this legislation, to help ensure that, if traditional Medicare is expanded to cover hearing aids, Congress has the data it needs to make informed decisions.
“At a time when the population of Americans older than age 65 is growing at an unprecedented rate, these policies will impact more people than ever before,” said Starkey Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations, Michael Scholl. “As a growing body of research shows, hearing is directly tied to other health issues, including dementia. This new data further proves what we at Starkey have always known - that hearing healthcare providers play a critical role in protecting and preserving the overall health and wellness of Americans. We are working hard to ensure new legislative policies reflect that.”
Starkey is a privately held, global hearing technology company headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Owned by Bill Austin since 1967, Starkey is known for its innovative design, development and distribution of comprehensive digital hearing systems. Led today by President and CEO Brandon Sawalich, Starkey has more than 5,000 employees, operates 28 facilities and does business in more than 100 markets worldwide. Learn more at starkey.com.