Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
5/15/2021

Part V. Standards of Practice and Conduct

18VAC80-20-180. Maintenance of licenses.

A. Notice in writing shall be given to the board in the event of any change of business or individual name or address. Such notice shall be mailed to the board within 30 days of the change of the name or location. The board shall not be responsible for the licensee's failure to receive notices, communications and correspondence caused by the licensee's failure to promptly notify the board in writing of any change of name or address.

B. All licensees shall operate under the name in which the license is issued.

C. All licenses issued by the board must be visibly displayed at each physical site of employment in such a manner that the public can easily read the name of the licensee. If the individual practices at more than one site, a photocopy of the license is acceptable.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.2, eff. August 23, 1995; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003.

18VAC80-20-190. Business records and practice.

A. This section shall apply with reference to the licensee's official records and public access.

B. The licensee shall keep on record with the board the location of the licensee's records, which shall be accessible to the board, with or without notice, during reasonable business hours.The licensee must promptly produce to the board or any of its agents, upon request or demand, any document, book, record, copy thereof in the licensee's possession or control concerning a transaction covered by this chapter or for which the licensee is required to maintain records.

C. The licensee shall be accessible to the public for expedient, reliable and dependable services, and repairs.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-113 and 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.3, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995.

18VAC80-20-200. Documentation provided to each purchaser.

The licensee shall deliver to each purchaser at the time of a repair or service a signed receipt by the licensee or designee and showing:

1. Licensee's business address, license number and business telephone number;

2. The make and model of the hearing aid or equipment to be repaired or serviced and, in addition, serial numbers on models to be repaired and serviced; and

3. The full terms of the transaction clearly stated.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.4, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003.

18VAC80-20-210. Measures to take when first contact is established with any purchaser or prospective purchaser.

A. When first contact is established with any purchaser or prospective purchaser outside the hearing aid specialist's principal place of business, the licensee shall provide a disclosure form prescribed by the board containing information that the purchaser or prospective purchaser will need to obtain service/maintenance. The disclosure form shall include:

1. Address and telephone number where the hearing aid specialist can be reached.

2. Days and hours contact can be made;

3. Whether service/maintenance will be provided in the office or in the home of the purchaser or prospective purchaser; and

4. If the hearing aid specialist has no principal place of business in Virginia, a clear statement that there is no principal place of business in Virginia.

B. When first contact is established with any purchaser or prospective purchaser the licensee shall:

1. Advise the purchaser or prospective purchaser that hearing aid specialists are not licensed to practice medicine; and

2. Advise the purchaser or prospective purchaser that no examination or representation made by the specialist should be regarded as a medical examination, opinion, or advice.

a. A statement that this initial advice was given to the purchaser or prospective purchaser shall be entered on the purchase agreement in print as large as the other printed matter on the receipt.

b. Exemption: Hearing aid specialists who are physicians licensed to practice medicine in Virginia are exempt from the requirements of this subsection.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.5, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003.

18VAC80-20-220. Purchase agreement.

A. Each hearing aid shall be sold through a purchase agreement that shall:

1. Show the licensee's business address, license number, business telephone number, and signature;

2. Comply with federal and Virginia laws and regulations, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, the Virginia Home Solicitation Sales Act (Chapter 2.1 (§ 59.1-21.1 et seq.) of Title 59.1 of the Code of Virginia), and the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (Chapter 17 (§ 59.1-196 et seq.) of Title 59.1 of the Code of Virginia);

3. Clearly state, if the hearing aid is not new and is sold or rented, that it is "used" or "reconditioned," whichever is applicable, including the terms of warranty, if any. The hearing aid container shall be clearly marked with the same information contained in the purchase agreement;

4. Identify the brand names and model of the hearing aid being sold, and the serial number of the hearing aid shall be provided, in writing, to the purchaser or prospective purchaser at the time of delivery of the hearing aid;

5. Disclose the full purchase price;

6. Disclose the down payment and periodic payment terms in cases where the purchase price is not paid in full at delivery;

7. Disclose any nonrefundable fees established in accordance with § 54.1-1505 of the Code of Virginia. Nonrefundable fees shall not be a percentage of the purchase price of the hearing aid;

8. Disclose any warranty;

9. Explain the provisions of § 54.1-1505 of the Code of Virginia, which entitles the purchaser to return the hearing aid, in 10-point bold face type that is bolder than the type in the remainder of the purchase agreement; and

10. Disclose that the licensee or temporary permit holder is not a physician licensed to practice medicine in Virginia and that no examination or representation made shall be regarded as a medical examination, opinion or advice.

B. Subdivision A 10 of this section shall not apply to sales made by a licensed hearing aid specialist who is a physician licensed to practice medicine in Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.6, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003; Volume 33, Issue 9, eff. February 1, 2017.

18VAC80-20-230. Fitting or sale of hearing aids for children.

A. Any person engaging in the fitting or sale of hearing aids for a child under 18 years of age shall ascertain whether such child has been examined by an otolaryngologist or licensed physician within six months prior to fitting.

B. No child under 18 years of age shall be initially fitted with a hearing aid or hearing aids unless the licensed hearing aid specialist has been presented with a written statement signed by an otolaryngologist stating the child's hearing loss has been medically evaluated and the child may be considered a candidate for a hearing aid. The medical evaluation must have taken place within the preceding six months.

C. No child under 18 years of age shall be subsequently fitted with a hearing aid or hearing aids unless the licensed hearing aid specialist has been presented with a written statement signed by a licensed physician stating the child's hearing loss has been medically evaluated and the child may be considered a candidate for a hearing aid. The medical evaluation must have taken place within the preceding six months.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.7, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003; Volume 33, Issue 9, eff. February 1, 2017.

18VAC80-20-240. Physician statement regarding adult client's medical evaluation of hearing loss.

A. Each licensee or holder of a temporary permit, in counseling and instructing adult clients and prospective adult clients related to the testing, fitting, and sale of hearing aids, shall be required to recommend that the client obtain a written statement signed by a licensed physician stating that the patient's hearing loss has been medically evaluated within the preceding six months and that the patient may be a candidate for a hearing aid.

B. Should the client decline the recommendation, a statement of such declination shall be obtained from the client over his signature. Medical waivers that are a part of purchase agreements shall be in a separate section, which shall be signed by the client indicating his understanding of the medical waiver. A separate, additional client signature space shall be provided in all purchase agreements for the client to sign acknowledging his understanding of the purchase terms and conditions established by 18VAC80-20-200.

1. Fully informed adult patients (18 years of age or older) may waive the medical evaluation.

2. The hearing aid specialist is prohibited from actively encouraging a prospective user to waive a medical examination.

C. The information provided in subsection A of this section must be made a part of the client's record kept by the hearing aid specialist.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.8, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003.

18VAC80-20-250. Testing procedures.

It shall be the duty of each licensee and holder of a temporary permit engaged in the fitting and sale of hearing aids to use appropriate testing procedures for each hearing aid fitting. All tests and case history information must be retained in the records of the specialist. The established requirements shall be:

1. Air Conduction Tests A.N.S.I. standard frequencies of 500-1000-2000-4000-6000-8000 Hertz. Intermediate frequencies shall be tested if the threshold difference between octaves exceeds 15dB. Appropriate masking must be used if the difference between the two ears is 40 dB or more at any one frequency.

2. Bone Conduction Tests are to be made on every client--A.N.S.I. standards at 500-1000-2000-4000 Hertz. Proper masking is to be applied if the air conduction and bone conduction readings for the test ear at any one frequency differ by 15 dB or if lateralization occurs.

3. Speech testings shall be made before fittings and shall be recorded with type of test, method of presentation and the test results.

4. The specialist shall check for the following conditions and, if they are found to exist, shall refer the client to a licensed physician unless the client can show that his present condition is under treatment or has been treated:

a. Visible congenital or traumatic deformity of the ear.

b. History of active drainage from the ear within the previous 90 days.

c. History of sudden or rapidly progressive hearing loss within the previous 90 days.

d. Acute or chronic dizziness.

e. Unilateral hearing loss.

f. Audiometric air bone gap equal to or greater than 15 dB at 500 Hertz, 1000 Hertz, and 2000 Hertz.

g. Visible evidence or significant cerumen accumulation or a foreign body in the ear canal.

h. Tinnitus as a primary symptom.

i. Pain or discomfort in the ear.

5. All tests shall have been conducted no more than six months prior to the fitting.

6. Post-fitting testing shall be made and recorded with type of test, method of presentation and the test results.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.9, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003; Volume 33, Issue 9, eff. February 1, 2017.

18VAC80-20-260. Calibration statement required.

A. Audiometers used in testing the hearing impaired must be in calibration.

B. Calibration must be done once a year or more often, if needed.

C. A certified copy of an electronic audiometer calibration shall be maintained for three years and shall be made available to the department upon request.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.10, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003.

18VAC80-20-270. Grounds for discipline.

The board may, in considering the totality of the circumstances, fine any temporary permit holder or licensee, and suspend, place on probation, or revoke, or refuse to renew any temporary permit or license or deny any application issued under the provisions of Chapter 15 (§ 54.1-1500 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia and this chapter. Disciplinary procedures are governed by the Administrative Process Act, Chapter 40 (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia. In exercising its disciplinary function, the board will consider the totality of the circumstances of each case. Any licensee is subject to board discipline for any of the following:

1. Improper conduct, including but not limited to:

a. Obtaining, renewing, or attempting to obtain a license by false or fraudulent representation;

b. Obtaining any fee or making any sale by fraud or misrepresentation;

c. Employing to fit or sell hearing aids a person who does not hold a valid license or a temporary permit, or whose license or temporary permit is suspended;

d. Using, causing, or promoting the use of any misleading, deceptive, or untruthful advertising matter, promotional literature, testimonial, guarantee, warranty, label, brand, insignia, or any other representation, whether disseminated orally or published;

e. Advertising a particular model or type of hearing aid for sale when purchasers or prospective purchasers responding to the advertisement cannot purchase the advertised model or type;

f. Representing that the service or advice of a person licensed to practice medicine or audiology will be used in the selection, fitting, adjustment, maintenance, or repair of hearing aids when that is not true, or using the words "physician," "audiologist," "clinic," "hearing service," "hearing center," or similar description of the services and products provided when such use is not accurate;

g. Directly or indirectly giving or offering to give favors, paid referrals, or anything of value to any person who in his professional capacity uses his position to influence third parties to purchase products offered for sale by a hearing aid specialist; or

h. Failing to provide expedient, reliable, or dependable services when requested by a client or client's guardian.

2. Failure to include on the purchase agreement a statement regarding home solicitation when required by federal and state law.

3. Incompetence or negligence, as those terms are generally understood in the profession, in fitting or selling hearing aids.

4. Failure to provide required or appropriate training resulting in incompetence or negligence, as those terms are generally understood in the profession, by a temporary permit holder under the licensee's sponsorship.

5. Violating or cooperating with others in violating any provisions of Chapters 1 (§ 54.1-100 et seq.), 2 (§ 54.1-200 et seq.), 3 (§ 54.1-300 et seq.), and 15 (§ 54.1-1500 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia or this chapter.

6. The licensee, temporary permit holder, or applicant has been convicted or found guilty of any crime directly related to the practice of fitting or dealing in hearing aids, regardless of the manner of adjudication, in any jurisdiction of the United States. Except for misdemeanor convictions that occurred five or more years prior to the date of application, with no subsequent convictions, all criminal convictions shall be considered as part of the totality of the circumstances of each applicant. Review of prior convictions shall be subject to the requirements of § 54.1-204 of the Code of Virginia. Any pleas of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for the purpose of this subdivision. The record of a conviction authenticated in such form as to be admissible in evidence of the law of the jurisdiction where convicted shall be admissible as prima facie evidence of such conviction or guilt.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.11, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003; Volume 33, Issue 9, eff. February 1, 2017.

18VAC80-20-280. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.12, eff. August 23, 1995; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 9, eff. February 1, 2017.

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