NEW JERSEY REGISTER

VOLUME 33, NUMBER 11

MONDAY, ,JUNE 4, 2001

RULE PROPOSAL

LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY

DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS

AUDIOLOGY AND SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES

Additions are indicated by <<+ Text +>>; deletions by <<- Text ->>.
Changes in tables are made but not highlighted.

 

Proposed Amendment: N.J.A.C. 13:44C-8.2

Authorized By: Mark S. Herr, Director, Division of Consumer Affairs.

Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:3B-24.
Proposal Number: PRN 2001-186.

Submit comments by July 4, 2001 to:
Mark S. Herr, Director

Division of Consumer Affairs

124 Halsey Street

PO Box 45027

Newark, New Jersey 07101

The agency proposal follows:

 

Summary

On May 4, 1998, the Audiology and Speech Language Pathology Advisory Committee received a petition from Betty F. Greitzer, Esq., on behalf of the New Jersey Academy of Audiology (NJHAA), the New Jersey Speech and Hearing Association (NJSHA) and the New Jersey Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc. (SHHH- NJ), requesting that the Committee amend N.J.A.C. 13:44C-8.2 in order to require licensees to follow nationally recognized standards for background noise when conducting a hearing examination. A notice of receipt of petition for rulemaking was published in the June 1, 1998 New Jersey Register at 30 N.J.R. 2091(b) and a notice of action on petition for rulemaking was published in the July 6, 1999 New Jersey Register at 31 N.J.R. 1826(a). The Committee agreed with the petitioner's suggestion and proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:44C-8.2 to implement the petitioner's request.

The proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:44C-8.2(b) requires that a licensee, when conducting a hearing test, ensure that the test environment conform to national standards for maximal permissible background noise, in compliance with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 3.1-1991, available from the Acoustical Society of America, 120 Wall Street, 32 Floor, New York, New York 10005-3993. If a patient cannot, due to health problems, be moved to a testing environment that meets these standards, the licensee shall test the patient within the available environment and the testing conditions shall be documented in the patient's record. The rule allows a licensee to conduct tests in environments that do not conform to these standards if the patient cannot be moved from the non-conforming environment due to health problems. A licensee who tests a patient in an environment that does not conform to the ANSI standard is required to document the testing conditions in the patient's record.

Social Impact

The Committee believes that the proposed amendment will have a positive impact upon licensees and patients. The proposed amendment impacts licensees because they will have to test patients in optimal conditions so that licensees can achieve the most accurate test of a patient's hearing. The proposed amendment will benefit patients because they will receive the best care for their hearing impairment as their hearing has been accurately assessed.

 

Economic Impact

The Committee believes that the proposed amendment may impose costs. Licensees who perform hearing tests in an environment that does not conform to the dictates of this rule will incur costs associated with improving the testing environment. Licensees may need to purchase measurement equipment to measure the level of ambient noise in their testing environment or hire a consultant to measure the ambient noise level. However, most licensees already have such equipment or hire a consultant to measure ambient noise levels as part of their practice and the economic impact of this amendment will be limited.

Federal Standard Statement

A Federal standards analysis is not required because the proposed amendment does not involve any Federal standards or requirements.

Jobs Impact

The Board does not believe that the proposal will result in an increase or decrease of jobs in this State.

Agriculture Industry Impact

The Board does not believe that the proposed amendment will have any impact on the agriculture industry of this State.

 

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

If, for the purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., the approximately 4,000 licensees of the Board are deemed "small businesses," then the following analysis applies. .

The Act requires the Board to set forth the reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance requirements of the amendment including the kinds of professional services likely to be needed to comply with the requirements.

The costs imposed on small businesses by the amendment are the same costs that are imposed on all businesses as outlined in the economic impact above.

Some licensees may choose to hire a consultant to measure the level of ambient noise in the testing environment as opposed to purchasing the equipment to perform the measurement themselves. The Board does not believe that licensees will need to employ any other professional services to comply with the requirements of the amendment.

The proposed amendment imposes compliance and recordkeeping requirements but does not impose any reporting requirements upon licensees. The proposed amendment requires that licensees conduct hearing tests in an environment that conforms to national standards for maximal background sound. If the patient cannot be moved to a testing environment that conforms to these standards the licensee may conduct the test in the available environment but must record the conditions of that environment in the patient record. The Committee believes that since the proposed amendment promotes accurate testing of patients the rule provisions should be applied uniformly to all licensees regardless of the size of the business.

Full text of the proposal follows:

<< NJ ADC 13:44C-8.2 >>

13:44C-8.2 Professional practices

(a) (No change.)

(b) The following acts or professional practices shall be deemed to be unprofessional conduct:

1.-4. (No change.)

<<+5. Conducting a test in an environment that does not meet nationally recognized standards for maximal permissible background sound from the American National Standard Maximum Permissible Ambient Noise Levels for Audiometric Test Rooms (ANSI S3.1-1991, 1991), available from the Acoustical Society of America, 120 Wall Street, 32 Floor, New York, New York 10005-3993, which is incorporated herein by reference, as amended and supplemented. If a patient cannot, due to health problems, be moved to a testing environment that meets these standards the licensee shall test the patient within the available environment and the testing conditions shall be documented in the patient's record.+>>

<<-5.->><<+6.+>> (No change in text.)

(c) (No change.)


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Posted June 2001