Per the recent ruling by the FCC (Order FC 13-118), audiologists need to be aware of changes that may impact how patients with hearing loss can obtain a Hamilton CapTel telephone. Since May of 2013, patients with hearing loss were able to obtain this caption telephone at no charge through Hamilton CapTel’s Holistic Hearing Healthcare Program (see previous blog post). The process required an audiologist or other hearing health care professional to complete and submit a certification form to Hamilton CapTel, verifying that the applicant (patient) had a hearing loss and could benefit from Captioned Telephone Service (CTS). Upon receipt of a completed certification form, Hamilton CapTel delivered a new phone directly to the patient at no charge. This process has changed per a new order issued earlier this month by the FCC.
Effective Saturday, September 21, 2013, patients with hearing loss experiencing difficulty hearing over the phone will continue to have access to Hamilton CapTel phones; however, the phone will no longer be available at no cost to the patient. The patient will be required to pay for the phone. It is important to emphasize that captioning services provided by the Hamilton CapTel phone will continue to be available at no cost per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Look for more details regarding updates to the Hamilton Captel Hearing Healthcare Program via direct mail scheduled in the near future.