Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 2. HEALING ARTS [500 - 4999.129]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 399. )

CHAPTER 5.3. Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists [2530 - 2539.14]

  ( Heading of Chapter 5.3 amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 427, Sec. 2. )

ARTICLE 9. Dispensing Audiologists [2539.1 - 2539.14]
  ( Heading of Article 9 amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 449, Sec. 10. )

2539.1.
  

(a) (1) On and after January 1, 2010, in addition to satisfying the licensure and examination requirements described in Sections 2532 and 2532.2, no licensed audiologist shall sell hearing aids unless he or she completes an application for a dispensing audiology license, pays all applicable fees, and passes an examination, approved by the board, relating to selling hearing aids.

(2) The board shall issue a dispensing audiology license to a licensed audiologist who meets the requirements of paragraph (1).

(b) (1) On and after January 1, 2010, a licensed audiologist with an unexpired license to sell hearing aids pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 2538.10) may continue to sell hearing aids pursuant to that license until that license expires pursuant to Section 2538.53, and upon that expiration the licensee shall be deemed to have satisfied the requirements described in subdivision (a) and may continue to sell hearing aids pursuant to his or her audiology license subject to the provisions of this chapter. Upon the expiration of the audiologist’s license to sell hearing aids, the board shall issue him or her a dispensing audiology license pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a). This paragraph shall not prevent an audiologist who also has a hearing aid dispenser’s license from maintaining dual or separate licenses if he or she chooses to do so.

(2) A licensed audiologist whose license to sell hearing aids, issued pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 2538.10), is suspended, surrendered, or revoked shall not be authorized to sell hearing aids pursuant to this subdivision and he or she shall be subject to the requirements described in subdivision (a) as well as the other provisions of this chapter.

(c) A licensed hearing aid dispenser who meets the qualifications for licensure as an audiologist shall be deemed to have satisfied the requirements of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) for the purposes of obtaining a dispensing audiology license.

(d) For purposes of subdivision (a), the board shall provide the hearing aid dispenser’s examination provided by the former Hearing Aid Dispensers Bureau until such time as the next examination validation and occupational analysis is completed by the Department of Consumer Affairs pursuant to Section 139 and a determination is made that a different examination is to be administered.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 449, Sec. 11. Effective January 1, 2012.)

2539.2.
  

(a) Hearing aids may be sold by catalog or direct mail provided that:

(1) The seller is licensed as an audiologist in this state and is authorized to sell hearing aids pursuant to Section 2539.1.

(2) There is no fitting, selection, or adaptation of the instrument and no advice is given with respect to fitting, selection, or adaptation of the instrument and no advice is given with respect to the taking of an ear impression for an earmold by the seller.

(3) The seller has received a statement which is signed by a physician and surgeon, audiologist, or a hearing aid dispenser, licensed by the State of California which verifies that Section 2539.6 has been complied with.

(b) A copy of the statement referred to in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) shall be retained by the seller for the period provided for in Section 2539.10.

(Added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 309, Sec. 12. Effective January 1, 2010.)

2539.4.
  

A licensed audiologist shall, upon the consummation of a sale of a hearing aid, deliver to the purchaser a written receipt, signed by or on behalf of the licensed audiologist, containing all of the following:

(a) The date of consummation of the sale.

(b) Specifications as to the make, serial number, and model number of the hearing aid or aids sold.

(c) The address of the principal place of business of the licensed audiologist, and the address and office hours at which the licensed audiologist shall be available for fitting or postfitting adjustments and servicing of the hearing aid or aids sold.

(d) A statement to the effect that the aid or aids delivered to the purchaser are used or reconditioned, as the case may be, if that is the fact.

(e) The number of the licensed audiologist’s license and the name and license number of any other hearing aid dispenser, temporary licensee, or audiologist who provided any recommendation or consultation regarding the purchase of the hearing aid.

(f) The terms of any guarantee or written warranty, required by Section 1793.02 of the Civil Code, made to the purchaser with respect to the hearing aid or hearing aids.

(Added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 309, Sec. 12. Effective January 1, 2010.)

2539.6.
  

(a) Whenever any of the following conditions are found to exist either from observations by the licensed audiologist or on the basis of information furnished by the prospective hearing aid user, a licensed audiologist shall, prior to fitting or selling a hearing aid to any individual, suggest to that individual in writing that his or her best interests would be served if he or she would consult a licensed physician specializing in diseases of the ear or if no licensed physician is available in the community then to a duly licensed physician:

(1) Visible congenital or traumatic deformity of the ear.

(2) History of, or active, drainage from the ear within the previous 90 days.

(3) History of sudden or rapidly progressive hearing loss within the previous 90 days.

(4) Acute or chronic dizziness.

(5) Unilateral hearing loss of sudden or recent onset within the previous 90 days.

(6) Significant air-bone gap (when generally acceptable standards have been established).

(7) Visible evidence of significant cerumen accumulation or a foreign body in the ear canal.

(8) Pain or discomfort in the ear.

(b) No referral for medical opinion need be made by any licensed audiologist in the instance of replacement only of a hearing aid that has been lost or damaged beyond repair within one year of the date of purchase. A copy of the written recommendation shall be retained by the licensed audiologist for the period provided for in Section 2539.10. A person receiving the written recommendation who elects to purchase a hearing aid shall sign a receipt for the same, and the receipt shall be kept with the other papers retained by the licensed audiologist for the period provided for in Section 2539.10. Nothing in this section required to be performed by a licensed audiologist shall mean that the licensed audiologist is engaged in the diagnosis of illness or the practice of medicine or any other activity prohibited by the provisions of this code.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 653, Sec. 10.1. Effective January 1, 2011.)

2539.8.
  

No hearing aid shall be sold by an individual licensed as an audiologist under this chapter to a person 16 years of age or younger, unless within the preceding six months a recommendation for a hearing aid has been made by both a board-certified, or a board-eligible physician specializing in otolaryngology, and by a state licensed audiologist. A replacement of an identical hearing aid within one year shall be an exception to this requirement.

(Added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 309, Sec. 12. Effective January 1, 2010.)

2539.10.
  

A licensed audiologist shall, upon the consummation of a sale of a hearing aid, keep and maintain records in his or her office or place of business at all times and each such record shall be kept and maintained for a seven-year period. These records shall include:

(a) Results of test techniques as they pertain to fitting of the hearing aid.

(b) A copy of the written receipt required by Section 2539.4 and the written recommendation and receipt required by Section 2539.6, when applicable.

(Added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 309, Sec. 12. Effective January 1, 2010.)

2539.12.
  

A licensed audiologist who is the owner, manager, or franchisee at a location where hearing aids are fit or sold, shall be responsible for the adequacy of the fitting or selling of any hearing aid fit and sold by any licensee or licensees at that location.

(Added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 309, Sec. 12. Effective January 1, 2010.)

2539.14.
  

The provisions of subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 2538.11 and the provisions of Section 2538.12 do not apply to a licensed audiologist who satisfies the requirements of Section 2539.1.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 449, Sec. 12. Effective January 1, 2012.)

BPCBusiness and Professions Code - BPC9.