Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers

Important Information for Healthcare Facilities Seeking to Use Out-Of-State Healthcare Providers to Assist with Hurricane Harvey Disaster Response

On September 3, in accordance with Sections 418.016 and 418.171 of the Texas Government Code, Governor Greg Abbott temporarily suspended all necessary statutes and rules to allow a healthcare professional licensed and in good standing in another state to practice in various facilities in Texas to assist with disaster response operations for Hurricane Harvey. Read More >>

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News and Updates

Hearing Instrument Fitters & Dispensers: One Year Update

In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 202, transferring the Hearing Instrument Fitters & Dispensers program from the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR).

The program transfer took place in October 2016. As part of our mission to deliver improved services at a lower cost to Texans, TDLR reduced the following fees for the Hearing Instrument Fitters & Dispensers program:

Hearing Instrument Fitters & Dispensers DSHS Fee TDLR Fee $ Reduced % Reduced
Full License (Two-Year License) $405 $205 $200 49%
License Renewal fee (Two-Year Term) $405 $205 $200 49%
Continuing Education Sponsor $500 $200 $300 60%
Continuing Education Sponsor Renewal $500 $200 $300 60%
Jurisprudence Exam $39 $34 $5 13%
Practical Examination Retake Fee $125 $100 $25 20%
License Verification Fee $10 $0 $10 100%
Criminal History Evaluation Letter $50 $25 $25 50%
Reinstatement Fee $55 $0 $55 100%

 

We’ve also reduced processing and administrative fees for each online transaction. Thanks to these reductions, Texas Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers kept $84,087.50 in their pockets in their first year at TDLR. (October 2016 – September 2017)

In addition, TDLR reduced the word count in the Hearing Instrument Fitters & Dispensers program administrative rules to make them clear, concise, and easier to read--without impacting their effectiveness:

Hearing Instrument Fitters & Dispensers DSHS Rules TDLR Rules Word Difference % Reduced
Administrative Rules Word Count 21,047 11,365 9,682 46%

At TDLR, one of our core values is open and free communication. During this first year, the 3,871 Hearing Instrument Fitters & Dispensers program email subscribers were contacted 13 times (50,323 emails delivered) so that we could share information about meetings, rule changes, licensing, and more. And beginning in November 2015, all interested parties have been invited to six public meetings of the Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers Advisory Board.

TDLR is delivering on our promise to promote transparency and accountability, protect the health and safety of all Texans, and eliminate unnecessary barriers to doing business.  We look forward to serving you for many years to come, and always appreciate any feedback at: CS.Hearing.Fitters@tdlr.texas.gov.

Notice of Vacancies on Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers Advisory Board

TDLR announces two vacancies on the Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers Advisory Board (Board) established by Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 402. The purpose of the Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers Advisory Board is to provide advice and recommendations to the Department on technical matters relevant to the administration of this chapter. This announcement is for two public members.

The Board consists of the following nine members appointed by the presiding officer of the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation (Commission), with the approval of the Commission:

  • (1) six members licensed under this chapter who have been engaged in fitting and dispensing hearing instruments for at least five years preceding appointment, not more than one of whom may be licensed under Chapter 401; 
  • (2) one member who is actively practicing as a physician licensed by the Texas Medical Board and who:
    • (A) has been a resident of this state for at least two years preceding appointment; 
    • (B) is a citizen of the United States; and 
    • (C) specializes in the practice of otolaryngology; and
  • (3) two members of the public.

Members serve staggered six-year terms. The terms of three members expire on February 1 of each odd-numbered year

Interested persons should submit an online application. Applicants can also request an application from the Department by telephone (800) 803-9202 or e-mail advisory.boards@tdlr.texas.gov.

Issued in Austin, Texas on October 19, 2016.

Brian Francis
Executive Director
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

Important Information for Healthcare Facilities Seeking to Use Out-Of-State Healthcare Providers to Assist with Hurricane Harvey Disaster Response

On September 3, in accordance with Sections 418.016 and 418.171 of the Texas Government Code, Governor Greg Abbott temporarily suspended all necessary statutes and rules to allow a healthcare professional licensed and in good standing in another state to practice in various facilities in Texas to assist with disaster response operations for Hurricane Harvey.

The suspension allows a healthcare provider who holds a license, certificate, or other permit issued by another state jurisdiction satisfying qualifications for professional, mechanical, or other skills to render aid in this state to meet an emergency or disaster.

This suspension is in effect until terminated by the Office of the Governor or until the Hurricane Harvey disaster declaration is lifted or expires.

For the healthcare provider types listed below, a healthcare facility must submit to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) by email each out-of-state provider’s name, license type, state of licensure, and license identification number to: Harvey@tdlr.texas.gov

TDLR licenses the following healthcare providers:

  • Athletic Trainers
  • Dietitians
  • Dyslexia Therapists and Practitioners
  • Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers
  • Midwives
  • Orthotists and Prosthetists
  • Podiatrists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists

If you have questions or need assistance, please call (800) 803-9202 between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. CDT or email Harvey@tdlr.texas.gov.


Advisory Board Meetings

Previous Meeting - July 26, 2017

The Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers Advisory Board met July 26 in Austin. The agenda and the staff report (PDF) are available online. The meeting was archived and is available on TDLR's YouTube channel.


Health Professions Transition FAQs

1. When did the transfer happen?
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) assumed all activities relating to the Athletic Trainers program - including licenses and renewals, customer service and enforcement - on October 3, 2016.

2. Now that the transfer is complete, will I need to get a new license issued by TDLR?
No. The license you have now - issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) - remains valid until its expiration date. When you renew, you will receive a TDLR license.

3. Have the rules changed?
Yes, TDLR adopted rules for all of the transferred programs. Most of the newly adopted rules are very similar, but some changes have been made. The TDLR health profession rules became effective on October 1, 2016. View the rule changes and links to the TDLR rules

4. I was fingerprinted for my DSHS license. Do I have to be fingerprinted again?
No, you do not need to be fingerprinted again.

5. How do I stay informed about changes impacting me?
You have several options to stay connected:

  • Email updates - Sign up for email updates to receive notices about rules, the law, fees, examination requirements, meetings and more. Email updates are the best way for you to stay informed.
  • Meetings - TDLR’s advisory board and Commission meetings are available to watch online live or later at your convenience.
  • Facebook and Twitter - TDLR has a Facebook page and Twitter account dedicated to TDLR Health Professions.

6. Why were licensing programs transferred from DSHS to TDLR?
The transfer is the result of a change to Texas law. In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 202, which transferred several licensing programs from the DSHS to TDLR.