2009 - 2010 LEGISLATURE
November 5, 2009 - Introduced by Representatives Zepnick, Turner, A. Ott,
Newcomer, Townsend, Danou and Kerkman, cosponsored by Senators
Lehman, Taylor, Olsen and Kedzie. Referred to Committee on Health and
1An Act to repeal
15.407 (4) and 459.23;
459.01 (1); to renumber
459.24 (3) (d), 459.24 (6) (b) and 459.28 (1); to amend
459.02 (2), 3
459.03 (1), 459.03 (2) (intro.), 459.03 (2) (b), 459.085, 459.10 (1) (g), 459.24 (1) 4
(b), 459.24 (1m), 459.24 (3) (e), 459.24 (3) (f), 459.24 (3m) (a), 459.24 (6) (c), 5
459.26 (2) (a), 459.26 (2) (b) 4. and 459.34 (2) (d); and to create
459.01 (1d), 6
459.10 (1) (q) and (r), 459.24 (3) (d) 2. and 3., 459.24 (6) (b) 2., 459.26 (2) (am), 7
459.28 (1) (b), 459.34 (2) (i), 459.34 (2) (j) and 459.34 (2) (k) of the statutes; 8relating to: creating new grounds for discipline of hearing instrument
9specialists, audiologists, and speech-language pathologists, changing
10licensing requirements for audiologists, and granting rule-making authority.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill makes the following changes to the regulation of speech-language
pathologists and audiologists.
1. Deceptive advertising. Under current law, the Hearing and Speech
Examining Board (board) in the Department of Regulation and Licensing
(department) may reprimand the holder of a license or permit issued by the board
or revoke, suspend, limit, or deny a license or permit if the holder or applicant
engages in certain prohibited conduct, including false, misleading, or deceptive
advertising. The bill prohibits deceptive advertising instead of false, misleading, or
deceptive advertising. In addition, the bill creates a definition for "deceptive
advertising," which includes creating or using promotional literature, testimonials,
insignia, or other representation which is misleading, false, or untruthful.
2. Misrepresentation. The bill prohibits the holder of a license or permit from
making an intentional or negligent representation regarding a hearing aid or
services. The bill also prohibits the holder of a license or permit from misusing words
that imply the involvement of the medical or audiology professions when there is no
such involvement. Finally, the bill prohibits a hearing instrument specialist from
intentionally or negligently misrepresenting the cause of a hearing impairment, or
the cure of a hearing impairment by the use of a hearing aid.
Audiologist license. Under current law, a person seeking an audiologist
license must have received a master's degree in audiology or completed education or
training that the board determines is substantially equivalent. The person must also
complete a postgraduate clinical fellowship in audiology approved by the board or
substantially equivalent education or training. The person must also pass an
examination required for certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing
Association or a substantially equivalent exam, as well as practical techniques tests
administered by the board. The board may grant a license to practice audiology to
a person who holds a current audiologist license in another state or United States
territory if the board determines that the requirements for licensure are
substantially equivalent to the requirements in this state.
With certain exceptions, the bill changes the requirements for audiologist
licensure effective January 1, 2010. Beginning on that date, to obtain an audiologist
license a person must do all of the following:
1. Either possess a doctoral degree in audiology or submit evidence of
substantially equivalent education or training. The doctoral degree program must
consist of not less than three years of educational course work and not less than 12
months of clinical rotation or externship.
2. Pass an exam selected or approved by the board as well as practical
techniques tests administered by the board. The bill requires the board to select and
approve examinations for audiology by rule. The bill authorizes the board to grant
a license to practice audiology to a person who holds a current audiologist license in
another state or United States territory if the applicant received a masters degree
in audiology or completed education or training that the board determines is
substantially equivalent and the board determines that the requirements for
licensure are substantially equivalent to the requirements in this state.
Temporary license to practice audiology. Under current law, the board may
grant a temporary license to practice audiology to a person who is completing a
postgraduate fellowship if the person practices under the supervision of a licensed
audiologist and satisfies other requirements. The bill eliminates temporary
licensure for a person completing a postgraduate fellowship effective January 1,
2010. The bill permits the board to grant a temporary license to practice audiology
to a person who satisfies all the requirements for licensure but who has not
completed the practical techniques tests administered by the board.
Other changes. Under current law, a corporation or mercantile establishment
that sells or offers to sell hearing aids must employ a person licensed by the
department as a hearing aid specialist or licensed or permitted by the board to
practice audiology. The corporation or mercantile establishment must annually file
with the board a list of persons employed to sell or fit hearing aids. This bill
eliminates the annual filing requirement.
Under current law, persons who use audiometric equipment to evaluate
hearing sensitivity for the fitting and sale of hearing aids must periodically calibrate
the equipment and send certification of the calibration to the board. This bill
eliminates the requirement that a certificate of calibration be sent to the board.
Under current law, a Council on Speech Language Pathology and Audiology
(council) in the department serves the board in an advisory capacity. This bill
eliminates the council.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB553, s. 1
15.407 (4) of the statutes is repealed.
AB553, s. 2
459.01 (1) of the statutes is renumbered 459.01 (1m).
AB553, s. 3
459.01 (1d) of the statutes is created to read:
"Deceptive advertising" means creating, using, or promoting the 5
use of any advertising material, promotional literature, testimonial, guarantee, 6
warranty, label, brand, insignia, or other representation, however disseminated or 7
published, which is misleading, false, or untruthful.
AB553, s. 4
459.02 (2) of the statutes is amended to read:
Nothing in this subchapter or subch. II shall prohibit any 10
corporation or mercantile establishment which maintains an established business 11
address from engaging in the business of selling or offering for sale hearing aids at 12
retail without a license, provided that for the purpose of selling and fitting hearing
aids it employs persons licensed under this subchapter or persons issued licenses or 2
permits to practice audiology under subch. II. Such corporation or mercantile
3establishment shall annually file with the examining board a list of all persons
4employed for the purpose of selling and fitting hearing aids.
AB553, s. 5
459.03 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
459.03 (1) Whoever practices fitting or selling of hearing aids under this
7subchapter A hearing instrument specialist who engages in the practice of fitting
8and dealing in hearing aids
shall deliver to each person supplied with a hearing aid 9
a receipt. The receipt shall contain the licensee's
signature and show the licensee's 10
business address and license title and
number of the hearing instrument specialist
together with specifications as to the make and model of the hearing aid furnished 12
and full terms of sale clearly stated. If a hearing aid which is not new is sold, the 13
receipt and the container thereof must be clearly marked as "used" or "reconditioned" 14
whichever is applicable.
AB553, s. 6
459.03 (2) (intro.) of the statutes is amended to read:
(intro.) The receipt shall contain all of the
shall be set out in not less than 8-point type:
AB553, s. 7
459.03 (2) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) A statement that the purchaser has been advised at the outset
20of the purchaser's relationship with by
the hearing instrument specialist that any 21
examination or representation made by a the
hearing instrument specialist in 22
connection with the fitting and selling of this hearing aid is not an examination, 23
or prescription by a person licensed to practice medicine or audiology
this state and therefore must not be regarded as medical or audiological
opinion or 25
AB553, s. 8
459.085 of the statutes is amended to read:
2459.085 Calibration of audiometric equipment.
Audiometric equipment 3
used in the evaluation of hearing sensitivity for the fitting and sale of hearing aids 4
shall be calibrated periodically, as specified by rule by the examining board. 5Certification of these calibrations shall be sent to the examining board with the
6renewal fee required in s. 459.09 (1) (a).
AB553, s. 9
459.10 (1) (g) of the statutes is amended to read:
(g) Engaged in false, misleading or
AB553, s. 10
459.10 (1) (q) and (r) of the statutes are created to read:
(q) Intentionally or negligently misrepresented the cause of a 11
hearing impairment or the cure of a hearing impairment by the use of a hearing aid.
(r) Made an intentional or negligent misrepresentation regarding a hearing aid 13
AB553, s. 11
459.23 of the statutes is repealed.
AB553, s. 12
459.24 (1) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) Engage in the practice of audiology or use the title "audiologist," 17
" or any similar title unless the person holds a current 18
audiologist license granted by the examining board under sub. (3) or (6) (b).
AB553, s. 13
459.24 (1m) of the statutes is amended to read:
459.24 (1m) Prohibited titles.
No person may use the title "certified hearing 21
aid audiologist" or," "certified hearing instrument audiologist," "licensed hearing
"licensed hearing aid audiologist
AB553, s. 14
459.24 (3) (d) of the statutes is renumbered 459.24 (3) (d) (intro.) 24
and amended to read:
(d) (intro.) Submits evidence satisfactory to the examining board 2
that he or she has completed a supervised clinical practicum and received satisfied
3one of the following:
a master's degree in audiology from a college or university 5
approved by the examining board, or has completed education or training that the 6
examining board determines is substantially equivalent to the completion of those 7
requirements. This subdivision does not apply to applications received after
8December 31, 2009