policy / research

Hearing Screening

Identifying and treating hearing loss can have positive long-term effects on social and emotional wellbeing and may help to reduce the impact of several comorbidities. Importantly, hearing screening can identify individuals with hearing loss earlier and provide awareness to both the patient and licensed hearing professional, potentially leading to further diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss in support of better health outcomes.


U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Comprised of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) provides recommendations regarding preventive screenings and services. In September 2020, USPSTF issued the draft recommendation statement, “Hearing Loss in Older Adults: Screening” for individuals over the age of 50. Reviewing available evidence of the benefits and harm of screening, accuracy of screening tools, and benefits and harms of interventions for hearing loss identified through screening, USPSTF determined there is insufficient evidence to support a screening recommendation for asymptomatic older adults age 50 years and older.

More than 38 million individuals in the U.S. have untreated hearing loss, which is associated with multiple comorbidities, including cognitive and functional decline, falls, depression, reduced quality of life, and an increased number of emergency department visits and hospitalizations. Earlier identification of hearing loss and intervention can have positive long-term effects and may lead to better health outcomes and lower costs to society.

HIA submitted comments in response to the USPSTF draft recommendations, raising several concerns with the reliance on a study that is not reflective of the overall hearing loss population, and included multiple recommendations. HIA recommendations include support for:

  • Hearing screening for older adults with an evidence-based and reliable test protocol, as well as continued use of the Initial Patient Physical Exam and Annual Wellness Visit mandated by CMS for Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Assembling subject matter experts to develop a two-part screening recommendation and protocol.
  • A focus on more specific evidence and peer-reviewed research to support a screening recommendation.


Outrage or Contrition? How to React to the USPSTF’s Apathy on Hearing Screening by Physicians – September 23, 2020

HIA Comments on the Draft Recommendation Statement for Hearing Loss in Older Adults: Screening – October 5, 2020



The Fiscal Year 2022 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill included report language requesting an accounting of current Federal funds allocated to hearing screening research.


HIA Logo

The Hearing Industries Association is the trusted voice on hearing health care for product innovation, public policy, patient safety and education.

Members   Marketrak   Members Area

Connect with Us

Facebook Twitter