Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB1721
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Full Text of SB1721  103rd General Assembly




SB1721 EnrolledLRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1    AN ACT concerning regulation.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Public Utilities Act is amended by changing
5Section 13-703 as follows:
6    (220 ILCS 5/13-703)  (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 13-703)
7    (Section scheduled to be repealed on December 31, 2026)
8    Sec. 13-703. (a) The Commission shall design and implement
9a program whereby each telecommunications carrier providing
10local exchange service shall provide a telecommunications
11device capable of servicing the needs of those persons with a
12hearing or speech disability together with a single party
13line, at no charge additional to the basic exchange rate, to
14any subscriber who is certified as having a hearing or speech
15disability by a hearing instrument care professional, as
16defined in the Hearing Instrument Consumer Protection Act, a
17speech-language pathologist, or a qualified State agency and
18to any subscriber which is an organization serving the needs
19of those persons with a hearing or speech disability as
20determined and specified by the Commission pursuant to
21subsection (d).
22    (b) The Commission shall design and implement a program,
23whereby each telecommunications carrier providing local



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1exchange service shall provide a telecommunications relay
2system, using third party intervention to connect those
3persons having a hearing or speech disability with persons of
4normal hearing by way of intercommunications devices and the
5telephone system, making available reasonable access to all
6phases of public telephone service to persons who have a
7hearing or speech disability. In order to design a
8telecommunications relay system which will meet the
9requirements of those persons with a hearing or speech
10disability available at a reasonable cost, the Commission
11shall initiate an investigation and conduct public hearings to
12determine the most cost-effective method of providing
13telecommunications relay service to those persons who have a
14hearing or speech disability when using telecommunications
15devices and therein solicit the advice, counsel, and physical
16assistance of Statewide nonprofit consumer organizations that
17serve persons with hearing or speech disabilities in such
18hearings and during the development and implementation of the
19system. The Commission shall phase in this program, on a
20geographical basis, as soon as is practicable, but no later
21than June 30, 1990.
22    (c) The Commission shall establish a competitively neutral
23rate recovery mechanism that establishes charges in an amount
24to be determined by the Commission for each line of a
25subscriber to allow telecommunications carriers providing
26local exchange service to recover costs as they are incurred



SB1721 Enrolled- 3 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1under this Section. Beginning no later than April 1, 2016, and
2on a yearly basis thereafter, the Commission shall initiate a
3proceeding to establish the competitively neutral amount to be
4charged or assessed to subscribers of telecommunications
5carriers and wireless carriers, Interconnected VoIP service
6providers, and consumers of prepaid wireless
7telecommunications service in a manner consistent with this
8subsection (c) and subsection (f) of this Section. The
9Commission shall issue its order establishing the
10competitively neutral amount to be charged or assessed to
11subscribers of telecommunications carriers and wireless
12carriers, Interconnected VoIP service providers, and
13purchasers of prepaid wireless telecommunications service on
14or prior to June 1 of each year, and such amount shall take
15effect June 1 of each year.
16    Telecommunications carriers, wireless carriers,
17Interconnected VoIP service providers, and sellers of prepaid
18wireless telecommunications service shall have 60 days from
19the date the Commission files its order to implement the new
20rate established by the order.
21    (d) The Commission shall determine and specify those
22organizations serving the needs of those persons having a
23hearing or speech disability that shall receive a
24telecommunications device and in which offices the equipment
25shall be installed in the case of an organization having more
26than one office. For the purposes of this Section,



SB1721 Enrolled- 4 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1"organizations serving the needs of those persons with hearing
2or speech disabilities" means centers for independent living
3as described in Section 12a of the Rehabilitation of Persons
4with Disabilities Act and not-for-profit organizations whose
5primary purpose is serving the needs of those persons with
6hearing or speech disabilities. The Commission shall direct
7the telecommunications carriers subject to its jurisdiction
8and this Section to comply with its determinations and
9specifications in this regard.
10    (e) As used in this Section:
11    "Prepaid wireless telecommunications service" has the
12meaning given to that term under Section 10 of the Prepaid
13Wireless 9-1-1 Surcharge Act.
14    "Retail transaction" has the meaning given to that term
15under Section 10 of the Prepaid Wireless 9-1-1 Surcharge Act.
16    "Seller" has the meaning given to that term under Section
1710 of the Prepaid Wireless 9-1-1 Surcharge Act.
18    "Telecommunications carrier providing local exchange
19service" includes, without otherwise limiting the meaning of
20the term, telecommunications carriers which are purely mutual
21concerns, having no rates or charges for services, but paying
22the operating expenses by assessment upon the members of such
23a company and no other person.
24    "Wireless carrier" has the meaning given to that term
25under Section 2 of the Emergency Telephone System Act.
26    (f) Interconnected VoIP service providers, sellers of



SB1721 Enrolled- 5 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1prepaid wireless telecommunications service, and wireless
2carriers in Illinois shall collect and remit assessments
3determined in accordance with this Section in a competitively
4neutral manner in the same manner as a telecommunications
5carrier providing local exchange service. However, the
6assessment imposed on consumers of prepaid wireless
7telecommunications service shall be collected by the seller
8from the consumer and imposed per retail transaction as a
9percentage of that retail transaction on all retail
10transactions occurring in this State. The assessment on
11subscribers of wireless carriers and consumers of prepaid
12wireless telecommunications service shall not be imposed or
13collected prior to June 1, 2016.
14    Sellers of prepaid wireless telecommunications service
15shall remit the assessments to the Department of Revenue on
16the same form and in the same manner which they remit the fee
17collected under the Prepaid Wireless 9-1-1 Surcharge Act. For
18the purposes of display on the consumers' receipts, the rates
19of the fee collected under the Prepaid Wireless 9-1-1
20Surcharge Act and the assessment under this Section may be
21combined. In administration and enforcement of this Section,
22the provisions of Sections 15 and 20 of the Prepaid Wireless
239-1-1 Surcharge Act (except subsections (a), (a-5), (b-5),
24(e), and (e-5) of Section 15 and subsections (c) and (e) of
25Section 20 of the Prepaid Wireless 9-1-1 Surcharge Act and,
26from June 29, 2015 (the effective date of Public Act 99-6), the



SB1721 Enrolled- 6 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1seller shall be permitted to deduct and retain 3% of the
2assessments that are collected by the seller from consumers
3and that are remitted and timely filed with the Department)
4that are not inconsistent with this Section, shall apply, as
5far as practicable, to the subject matter of this Section to
6the same extent as if those provisions were included in this
7Section. Beginning on January 1, 2018, the seller is allowed
8to deduct and retain 3% of the assessments that are collected
9by the seller from consumers and that are remitted timely and
10timely filed with the Department, but only if the return is
11filed electronically as provided in Section 3 of the
12Retailers' Occupation Tax Act. Sellers who demonstrate that
13they do not have access to the Internet or demonstrate
14hardship in filing electronically may petition the Department
15to waive the electronic filing requirement. The Department
16shall deposit all assessments and penalties collected under
17this Section into the Illinois Telecommunications Access
18Corporation Fund, a special fund created in the State
19treasury. On or before the 25th day of each calendar month, the
20Department shall prepare and certify to the Comptroller the
21amount available to the Commission for distribution out of the
22Illinois Telecommunications Access Corporation Fund. The
23amount certified shall be the amount (not including credit
24memoranda) collected during the second preceding calendar
25month by the Department, plus an amount the Department
26determines is necessary to offset any amounts which were



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1erroneously paid to a different taxing body or fund. The
2amount paid to the Illinois Telecommunications Access
3Corporation Fund shall not include any amount equal to the
4amount of refunds made during the second preceding calendar
5month by the Department to retailers under this Section or any
6amount that the Department determines is necessary to offset
7any amounts which were payable to a different taxing body or
8fund but were erroneously paid to the Illinois
9Telecommunications Access Corporation Fund. The Commission
10shall distribute all the funds to the Illinois
11Telecommunications Access Corporation and the funds may only
12be used in accordance with the provisions of this Section. The
13Department shall deduct 2% of all amounts deposited in the
14Illinois Telecommunications Access Corporation Fund during
15every year of remitted assessments. Of the 2% deducted by the
16Department, one-half shall be transferred into the Tax
17Compliance and Administration Fund to reimburse the Department
18for its direct costs of administering the collection and
19remittance of the assessment. The remaining one-half shall be
20transferred into the Public Utility Fund to reimburse the
21Commission for its costs of distributing to the Illinois
22Telecommunications Access Corporation the amount certified by
23the Department for distribution. The amount to be charged or
24assessed under subsections (c) and (f) is not imposed on a
25provider or the consumer for wireless Lifeline service where
26the consumer does not pay the provider for the service. Where



SB1721 Enrolled- 8 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1the consumer purchases from the provider optional minutes,
2texts, or other services in addition to the federally funded
3Lifeline benefit, a consumer must pay the charge or
4assessment, and it must be collected by the seller according
5to this subsection (f).
6    Interconnected VoIP services shall not be considered an
7intrastate telecommunications service for the purposes of this
8Section in a manner inconsistent with federal law or Federal
9Communications Commission regulation.
10    (g) The provisions of this Section are severable under
11Section 1.31 of the Statute on Statutes.
12    (h) The Commission may adopt rules necessary to implement
13this Section.
14(Source: P.A. 99-6, eff. 6-29-15; 99-143, eff. 7-27-15;
1599-642, eff. 7-28-16; 99-847, eff. 8-19-16; 99-933, eff.
161-27-17; 100-20, eff. 7-1-17; 100-201, eff. 8-18-17; 100-303,
17eff. 8-24-17; 100-863, eff. 8-14-18.)
18    Section 10. The Hearing Instrument Consumer Protection Act
19is amended by changing Sections 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 9.5,
2014, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20 and by adding Sections 4.5, 4.6, and
2112 as follows:
22    (225 ILCS 50/1)  (from Ch. 111, par. 7401)
23    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
24    Sec. 1. Purpose. The purpose of this Act is to protect the



SB1721 Enrolled- 9 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1deaf or hard of hearing public from the practice of dispensing
2hearing aids instruments that could endanger the health,
3safety and welfare of the People of this State. The Federal
4Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission has
5recommended that State legislation is necessary in order to
6establish standards of competency and to impose stringent
7penalties for those who violate the public trust in this field
8of health care.
9(Source: P.A. 98-827, eff. 1-1-15.)
10    (225 ILCS 50/3)  (from Ch. 111, par. 7403)
11    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
12    Sec. 3. Definitions. As used in this Act, except as the
13context requires otherwise:
14    "Department" means the Department of Public Health.
15    "Director" means the Director of the Department of Public
17    "Direct supervision" means the final approval given by the
18licensed hearing instrument professional to all work performed
19by the person under supervision and that the licensed hearing
20instrument professional is physically present in the facility
21any time the person under supervision has contact with a
22client. "Direct supervision" does not mean that the licensed
23hearing instrument professional is in the same room when the
24person under supervision has contact with the client.
25    "Federal Trade Commission" means the United States federal



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1agency which regulates business practices and commerce.
2    "Food and Drug Administration" means the United States
3federal agency which regulates hearing instruments or hearing
4aids as medical devices.
5    "License" means a license issued by the State under this
6Act to a hearing instrument dispenser.
7    "Licensed audiologist" means a person licensed as an
8audiologist under the Illinois Speech-Language Pathology and
9Audiology Practice Act and who can prescribe hearing aids in
10accordance with this Act.
11    "National Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist"
12means a person who has had at least 2 years in practice as a
13licensed hearing instrument dispenser and has been certified
14after qualification by examination by the National Board for
15Certification in Hearing Instruments Sciences.
16    "Licensed physician" or "physician" means a physician
17licensed in Illinois to practice medicine in all of its
18branches pursuant to the Medical Practice Act of 1987.
19    "Trainee" means a person who is licensed to perform the
20functions of a hearing instrument dispenser or audiologist in
21accordance with the Department rules and only under the direct
22supervision of a hearing instrument dispenser or audiologist
23who is licensed in the State.
24    "Board" means the Hearing Instrument Consumer Protection
26    "Hearing instrument" or "hearing aid" means any instrument



SB1721 Enrolled- 11 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1or device, including an instrument or device dispensed
2pursuant to a prescription, that is designed, intended, or
3offered for the purpose of improving a person's hearing and
4any parts, attachments, or accessories, including earmolds.
5"Hearing instrument" or "hearing aid" does not include
6batteries, cords, and individual or group auditory training
7devices and any instrument or device used by a public utility
8in providing telephone or other communication services
9wearable instrument or device designed for or offered for the
10purpose of aiding or compensating for impaired human hearing
11and that can provide more than 15 dB full on gain via a 2cc
12coupler at any single frequency from 200 through 6000 cycles
13per second, and any parts, attachments, or accessories,
14including ear molds. "Hearing instrument" or "hearing aid" do
15not include batteries, cords, or group auditory training
16devices and any instrument or device used by a public utility
17in providing telephone or other communication services are
19    "Involvement of a licensed person" refers to the
20supervisor, prescription or other order involvement or
21interaction by a licensed hearing instrument professional.
22    "Practice of prescribing, fitting, dispensing, or
23servicing of prescription hearing aids instruments" means the
24measurement of human hearing with an audiometer, calibrated to
25the current American National Standard Institute standards,
26for the purpose of prescribing hearing aids and making



SB1721 Enrolled- 12 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1selections, recommendations, adaptions, services, or sales of
2hearing aids instruments including the making of earmolds as a
3part of the hearing aid instrument.
4    "Sell" or "sale" means any transfer of title or of the
5right to use by lease, bailment, or any other contract,
6excluding wholesale transactions with distributors or dealers.
7    "Hearing instrument dispenser" means a person who is a
8hearing instrument care professional that engages in the
9selling, practice of fitting, selecting, recommending,
10dispensing, prescribing, or servicing of prescription hearing
11aids instruments or the testing for means of hearing aid
12instrument selection or who advertises or displays a sign or
13represents himself or herself as a person who practices the
14testing, fitting, selecting, servicing, dispensing,
15prescribing, or selling of prescription hearing aids
17    "Fund" means the Hearing Instrument Dispenser Examining
18and Disciplinary Fund.
19    "Hearing instrument care professional" means a person who
20is a licensed audiologist, a licensed hearing instrument
21dispenser, or a licensed physician.
22    "Over-the-counter hearing aid" means any instrument or
23device that:
24        (1) uses the same fundamental scientific technology as
25    air conduction hearing aids, as defined in 21 CFR
26    874.3300, or wireless air conduction hearing aids, as



SB1721 Enrolled- 13 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1    defined in 21 CFR 874.3305;
2        (2) is intended to be used by adults age 18 and older
3    to compensate for perceived mild to moderate hearing
4    impairment;
5        (3) through tools, tests, or software, allows the user
6    to control the over-the-counter hearing aid and customize
7    it to the user's hearing needs;
8        (4) may use wireless technology or include tests for
9    self-assessment of hearing loss; and
10        (5) is available over-the-counter, without the
11    supervision, prescription, or other order, involvement, or
12    intervention of a licensed person, to consumers through
13    in-person transactions, by mail, or online.
14    "Over-the-counter hearing aid" does not include batteries,
15cords, and individual or group auditory training devices or
16any instrument or device used by a public utility in providing
17telephone or other communication services.
18    "Personal sound amplification product" means an
19amplification device, as defined by the Food and Drug
20Administration or the Federal Trade Commission, that is not
21labeled as a hearing aid and is not intended to treat hearing
23    "Prescribe" means an order for a prescription hearing aid
24issued by a licensed hearing instrument professional.
25    "Prescription hearing aid" means any wearable instrument
26or device designed, intended, or offered for the purpose of



SB1721 Enrolled- 14 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1improving a person's hearing that may only be obtained with
2the involvement of a licensed hearing instrument professional.
3(Source: P.A. 98-362, eff. 8-16-13; 98-827, eff. 1-1-15.)
4    (225 ILCS 50/4)  (from Ch. 111, par. 7404)
5    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
6    Sec. 4. Disclosure; waiver; complaints; insurance. The
7hearing instrument professional dispenser shall give at no
8charge to every person fitted and sold a hearing aid
9instrument the "User Instructional Brochure", supplied by the
10hearing aid instrument manufacturer containing information
11required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
12    All hearing instruments or hearing aids must be dispensed
13or sold in accordance with Food and Drug Administration and
14Federal Trade Commission regulations governing the dispensing
15and sale of personal sound amplification products or hearing
17    A consumer who purchases an over-the-counter hearing aid
18must be provided a sales receipt at the time of the
20    Whenever a sale or service of one or more prescription
21hearing aids instrument involving $50 or more is made or
22contracted to be made, whether under a single contract or
23under multiple contracts, at the time of the transaction, the
24hearing instrument professional dispenser shall furnish the
25consumer with a fully completed receipt or contract pertaining



SB1721 Enrolled- 15 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1to that transaction, in substantially the same language as
2that used in the oral presentation to the consumer. The
3receipt or contract provided to the consumer shall contain (i)
4the hearing instrument professional's dispenser's name,
5license number, business address, business phone number, and
6signature; (ii) the name, address, and signature of the
7hearing instrument consumer; (iii) and the name and signature
8of the purchaser if the consumer and the purchaser are not the
9same person; (iv) the hearing aid instrument manufacturer's
10name, and the model and serial numbers; (v) the date of
11purchase; and (vi) the charges required to complete the terms
12of the sale, which must be fully and clearly stated. When the
13hearing aid instrument is delivered to the consumer or
14purchaser, the serial number shall be written on the original
15receipt or contract and a copy shall be given to the consumer
16or purchaser. If a used hearing instrument is sold, the
17receipt and the container thereof shall be clearly marked as
18"used" or "reconditioned", whichever is applicable, with terms
19of guarantee, if any.
20    All hearing instruments offered for sale must be
21accompanied by a 30-business day return privilege. The receipt
22or contract provided to the consumer shall state that the
23consumer has a right to return the hearing instrument for a
24refund within 30 business days of the date of delivery. If a
25nonrefundable dispensing fee or restocking fee, or both, will
26be withheld from the consumer in event of return, the terms



SB1721 Enrolled- 16 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1must be clearly stated on the receipt or contract provided to
2the consumer.
3    A hearing instrument dispenser shall not sell a hearing
4instrument unless the prospective user has presented to the
5hearing instrument dispenser a written statement, signed by a
6licensed physician, which states that the patient's hearing
7loss has been medically evaluated and the patient is
8considered a candidate for a hearing instrument. The medical
9evaluation must have taken place within the 6 months
10immediately preceding the date of the sale of the hearing
11instrument to the prospective hearing instrument user. If the
12prospective hearing instrument user is 18 years of age or
13older, the hearing instrument dispenser may afford the
14prospective user an opportunity to waive the medical
15evaluation required by this Section, provided that the hearing
16instrument dispenser:
17        (i) Informs the prospective user that the exercise of
18    a waiver is not in the user's best health interest;
19        (ii) Does not in any way actively encourage the
20    prospective user to waive the medical evaluation; and
21        (iii) Affords the prospective user the option to sign
22    the following statement:
23            "I have been advised by .................(hearing
24        instrument dispenser's name) that the Food and Drug
25        Administration has determined that my best interest
26        would be served if I had a medical evaluation by a



SB1721 Enrolled- 17 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1        licensed physician (preferably a physician who
2        specializes in diseases of the ear) before purchasing
3        a hearing instrument. I do not wish a medical
4        evaluation before purchasing a hearing instrument."
5    The hearing instrument professional dispenser or the
6professional's his or her employer shall retain proof of the
7medical examination or the waiver for at least 3 years from the
8date of the sale.
9    If the parent or guardian of any individual under the age
1017 or under of 18 years is a member of any church or religious
11denomination, whose tenets and practices include reliance upon
12spiritual means through prayer alone and objects to medical
13treatment and so states in writing to the hearing instrument
14professional dispenser, such individual shall undergo a
15hearing examination as provided by this Section but no proof,
16ruling out any medically treatable problem causing hearing
17loss, shall be required.
18    All persons licensed under this Act shall have
19conspicuously displayed in their business establishment a sign
20indicating that formal complaints regarding hearing aid
21instrument goods or services may be made to the Department.
22Such sign shall give the address and telephone number of the
23Department. All persons purchasing hearing aids instruments
24shall be provided with a written statement indicating that
25formal complaints regarding hearing aid instrument goods or
26services may be made to the Department and disclosing the



SB1721 Enrolled- 18 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1address and telephone number of the Department.
2    Any person wishing to make a complaint, against a hearing
3instrument professional dispenser under this Act, shall file
4it with the Department within 3 years from the date of the
5action upon which the complaint is based. The Department shall
6investigate all such complaints.
7    All persons licensed under this Act shall maintain
8liability insurance as set forth by rule and shall be
9responsible for the annual calibration of all audiometers in
10use by such persons. Such annual calibrations shall be in
11conformance with the current standards set by American
12National Standard Institute.
13(Source: P.A. 91-932, eff. 1-1-01.)
14    (225 ILCS 50/4.5 new)
15    Sec. 4.5. Hearing aids dispensed by prescription to
16persons age 17 or younger.
17    (a) A hearing instrument professional may dispense a
18hearing aid to a person age 17 or younger in accordance with
19the requirements of this Section.
20    (b) A hearing instrument professional shall not sell a
21prescription hearing aid to anyone age 17 or younger unless
22the prospective user has presented to the hearing instrument
23professional a written statement, signed by a licensed
24physician, that states that the patient's hearing loss has
25been medically evaluated and the patient is considered a



SB1721 Enrolled- 19 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1candidate for a hearing aid. The medical evaluation must have
2been performed within the 6 months immediately preceding the
3date of the sale of the hearing aid to the prospective hearing
4aid user.
5    (c) A person age 17 or younger must be medically evaluated
6in person by a physician before receiving a prescription for a
7hearing aid. The evaluation must have been performed within
8the 6 months immediately preceding the date that the hearing
9aid is dispensed.
10    (d) Following a medical evaluation by a licensed
11physician, a licensed audiologist or a licensed physician
12other than the evaluating physician may prescribe a
13prescription hearing aid for an individual age 17 or younger.
14A person age 17 or younger may not waive the medical evaluation
15or receipt of a prescription from a licensed audiologist or a
16licensed physician unless the person is replacing a lost or
17stolen hearing aid that is subject to warranty replacement.
18    (e) A hearing aid prescription for individuals age 17 or
19younger issued by a licensed audiologist or a licensed
20physician other than the evaluating physician must include, at
21a minimum, the following information:
22        (1) name of the patient;
23        (2) documentation of medical evaluation by a
24    physician;
25        (3) date the prescription is issued;
26        (4) expiration date of the prescription, which may not



SB1721 Enrolled- 20 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1    exceed 6 months from the date of issuance;
2        (5) name and license number of the prescribing
3    licensed audiologist or licensed physician;
4        (6) results of the following assessments: (i)
5    age-appropriate pure-tone air conduction audiometry or
6    results of auditory evoked potential testing, including,
7    but not limited to, auditory brainstem response or
8    otoacoustic emissions testing; (ii) bone conduction
9    testing, as age appropriate; and (iii) recorded or live
10    voice speech in quiet, as age appropriate;
11        (7) documentation of type and style of hearing aid;
12    and
13        (8) documentation of medical necessity of the
14    recommended features of a hearing aid.
15    (225 ILCS 50/4.6 new)
16    Sec. 4.6. Prescription hearing aids for persons age 18 or
18    (a) A hearing instrument professional may dispense a
19hearing aid to a person age 18 or older in accordance with the
20requirements of this Section.
21    (b) A person age 18 or older must be evaluated by a hearing
22instrument professional in person or via telehealth before
23receiving a prescription for a hearing aid. A person age 18 or
24older may not waive evaluation by a hearing instrument
25professional unless he or she is replacing a lost or stolen



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1hearing aid that is subject to warranty replacement.
2    (c) A hearing instrument professional shall not sell
3prescription hearing aid to anyone age 18 or older if the
4prospective user had a negative finding on the Consumer Ear
5Disease Risk Assessment or a similar standardized assessment.
6The prospective user who had a negative finding on the
7Consumer Ear Disease Risk Assessment or similar standardized
8assessment shall present to the hearing instrument
9professional a written statement, signed by a licensed
10physician, which states that the patient's hearing loss has
11been medically evaluated and the patient is considered a
12candidate for a prescription hearing aid. The medical
13evaluation must have been performed within the 12 months
14immediately preceding the date of the sale of the hearing aid
15to the prospective hearing aid user.
16    (d) A hearing aid prescription for individuals age 18 or
17older must include, at a minimum, the following information:
18        (1) name of the patient;
19        (2) date the prescription is issued;
20        (3) expiration date of the prescription, which may not
21    exceed one year from the date of issuance;
22        (4) name and license number of the prescribing hearing
23    instrument professional;
24        (5) results of the following assessments:
25            (A) hearing handicap inventory or similar
26        standardized, evidence-based tool;



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1            (B) pure-tone air conduction audiometry;
2            (C) bone conduction testing or consumer ear
3        disease risk assessment or a similar standardized
4        evidence-based tool;
5            (D) recorded speech in quiet, as medically
6        appropriate;
7            (E) recorded speech or digits in noise, as medical
8        appropriate;
9        (6) documentation of type and style of hearing aid;
10    and
11        (7) documentation of medical necessity of the
12    recommended features of a hearing aid.
13    (225 ILCS 50/5)  (from Ch. 111, par. 7405)
14    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
15    Sec. 5. License required. No person shall engage in the
16selling, practice of testing, fitting, selecting,
17recommending, adapting, dispensing, or servicing hearing aids
18instruments or display a sign, advertise, or represent oneself
19as a person who practices the fitting or selling of hearing
20aids instruments unless such person holds a current license
21issued by the Department as provided in this Act. Such person
22shall be known as a licensed hearing instrument dispenser.
23Individuals licensed pursuant to the provisions of Section 8
24of this Act shall be deemed qualified to provide tests of human
25hearing and hearing aid instrument evaluations for the purpose



SB1721 Enrolled- 23 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1of dispensing a hearing aid instrument for which any State
2agency may contract. The license shall be conspicuously
3displayed in the place of business. Duplicate licenses shall
4be issued by the Department to licensees operating more than
5one office upon the additional payment set forth in this Act.
6No hearing aids instrument manufacturer may distribute, sell,
7or otherwise provide hearing aids instruments to any
8unlicensed hearing instrument care professional for the
9purpose of selling hearing aids instruments to the consumer.
10    Except for violations of the provisions of this Act, or
11the rules promulgated under it, nothing in this Act shall
12prohibit a corporation, partnership, trust, association, or
13other entity from engaging in the business of testing,
14fitting, servicing, selecting, dispensing, selling, or
15offering for sale hearing aid instruments at retail without a
16license, provided it employs only licensed individuals in the
17direct testing, fitting, servicing, selecting, offering for
18sale, or dispensing of such products. Each such corporation,
19partnership, trust, association, or other entity shall file
20with the Department, prior to doing business in this State and
21by July 1 of each calendar year thereafter, on forms
22prescribed by the Department, a list of all licensed hearing
23instrument dispensers employed by it and a statement attesting
24that it complies with this Act and the rules promulgated under
25it and the regulations of the Federal Food and Drug
26Administration and the Federal Trade Commission insofar as



SB1721 Enrolled- 24 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1they are applicable.
2(Source: P.A. 99-204, eff. 7-30-15.)
3    (225 ILCS 50/6)  (from Ch. 111, par. 7406)
4    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
5    Sec. 6. Mail order and Internet sales. Nothing in this Act
6shall prohibit a corporation, partnership, trust, association,
7or other organization, maintaining an established business
8address, from engaging in the business of selling or offering
9for sale hearing aids instruments at retail by mail or by
10Internet to persons 18 years of age or older who have not been
11examined by a licensed physician or tested by a licensed
12hearing instrument professional dispenser provided that:
13    (a) The organization is registered by the Department prior
14to engaging in business in this State and has paid the fee set
15forth in this Act.
16    (b) The organization files with the Department, prior to
17registration and annually thereafter, a Disclosure Statement
18containing the following:
19        (1) the name under which the organization is doing or
20    intends to do business and the name of any affiliated
21    company which the organization recommends or will
22    recommend to persons as a supplier of goods or services or
23    in connection with other business transactions of the
24    organization;
25        (2) the organization's principal business address and



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1    the name and address of its agent in this State authorized
2    to receive service of process;
3        (3) the business form of the organization, whether
4    corporate, partnership, or otherwise and the state or
5    other sovereign power under which the organization is
6    organized;
7        (4) the names of the directors or persons performing
8    similar functions and names and addresses of the chief
9    executive officer, and the financial, accounting, sales,
10    and other principal executive officers, if the
11    organization is a corporation, association, or other
12    similar entity; of all general partners, if the
13    organization is a partnership; and of the owner, if the
14    organization is a sole proprietorship, together with a
15    statement of the business background during the past 5
16    years for each such person;
17        (5) a statement as to whether the organization or any
18    person identified in the disclosure statement:
19            (i) has during the 5-year 5 year period
20        immediately preceding the date of the disclosure
21        statement been convicted of a felony, pleaded nolo
22        contendere to a felony charge, or been held liable in a
23        civil action by final judgment, if such felony or
24        civil action involved fraud, embezzlement, or
25        misappropriation of property, and a description
26        thereof; or



SB1721 Enrolled- 26 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1            (ii) is subject to any currently effective
2        injunctive or restrictive order as a result of a
3        proceeding or pending action brought by any government
4        agency or department, and a description thereof; or
5            (iii) is a defendant in any pending criminal or
6        material civil action relating to fraud, embezzlement,
7        misappropriation of property or violations of the
8        antitrust or trade regulation laws of the United
9        States or any state, and a description thereof; or
10            (iv) has during the 5-year 5 year period
11        immediately preceding the date of the disclosure
12        statement had entered against such person or
13        organization a final judgment in any material civil
14        proceeding, and a description thereof; or
15            (v) has during the 5-year 5 year period
16        immediately preceding the date of the disclosure
17        statement been adjudicated a bankrupt or reorganized
18        due to insolvency or was a principal executive officer
19        or general partner of any company that has been
20        adjudicated a bankrupt or reorganized due to
21        insolvency during such 5-year 5 year period, and a
22        description thereof;
23        (6) the length of time the organization and any
24    predecessor of the organization has conducted a business
25    dealing with hearing aid instrument goods or services;
26        (7) a financial statement of the organization as of



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1    the close of the most recent fiscal year of the
2    organization. If the financial statement is filed later
3    than 120 days following the close of the fiscal year of the
4    organization it must be accompanied by a statement of the
5    organization of any material changes in the financial
6    condition of the organization;
7        (8) a general description of the business, including
8    without limitation a description of the goods, training
9    programs, supervision, advertising, promotion and other
10    services provided by the organization;
11        (9) a statement of any compensation or other benefit
12    given or promised to a public figure arising, in whole or
13    in part, from (i) the use of the public figure in the name
14    or symbol of the organization or (ii) the endorsement or
15    recommendation of the organization by the public figure in
16    advertisements;
17        (10) a statement setting forth such additional
18    information and such comments and explanations relative to
19    the information contained in the disclosure statement as
20    the organization may desire to present.
21    (b-5) If a device being sold does not meet the definition
22of an over-the-counter a hearing aid or a prescription hearing
23aid, instrument or hearing device as stated in this Act, the
24organization shall include a disclaimer in all written or
25electronic promotions. The disclaimer shall include the
26following language:



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1        "This is not a hearing instrument or hearing aid as
2    defined in the Hearing Instrument Consumer Protection Act,
3    but a personal sound amplification product amplifier and
4    not intended to replace a properly fitted and calibrated
5    hearing aid or treat hearing loss instrument.".
6    (c) The organization files with the Department prior to
7registration and annually thereafter a statement that it
8complies with the Act, the rules issued pursuant to it, and the
9regulations of the Federal Food and Drug Administration and
10the Federal Trade Commission insofar as they are applicable.
11    (d) The organization files with the Department at the time
12of registration an irrevocable consent to service of process
13authorizing the Department and any of its successors to be
14served any notice, process, or pleading in any action or
15proceeding against the organization arising out of or in
16connection with any violation of this Act. Such service shall
17have the effect of conferring personal jurisdiction over such
18organization in any court of competent jurisdiction.
19    (e) Before dispensing a hearing aid by mail or over the
20Internet instrument to a resident of this State, the
21organization informs (i) the parent or guardian of a person
22age 17 or younger that he or she must obtain a prescription
23issued by a licensed audiologist or licensed physician that
24meets the requirements of Section 4.5 or (ii) a person age 18
25or older that he or she must obtain a prescription issued by a
26hearing instrument professional that meets the requirements of



SB1721 Enrolled- 29 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1Section 4.6. the prospective users that they need the
2following for proper fitting of a hearing instrument:
3        (1) the results of an audiogram performed within the
4    past 6 months by a licensed audiologist or a licensed
5    hearing instrument dispenser; and
6        (2) an earmold impression obtained from the
7    prospective user and taken by a licensed hearing
8    instrument dispenser or licensed audiologist.
9    (f) (Blank). The prospective user receives a medical
10evaluation or the organization affords the prospective user an
11opportunity to waive the medical evaluation requirement of
12Section 4 of this Act and the testing requirement of
13subsection (z) of Section 18, provided that the organization:
14        (1) informs the prospective user that the exercise of
15    the waiver is not in the user's best health interest;
16        (2) does not in any way actively encourage the
17    prospective user to waive the medical evaluation or test;
18    and
19        (3) affords the prospective user the option to sign
20    the following statement:
21            "I have been advised by .......... (hearing
22        instrument dispenser's name) that the Food and Drug
23        Administration and the State of Illinois have
24        determined that my best interest would be served if I
25        had a medical evaluation by a licensed physician,
26        preferably a physician who specialized in diseases of



SB1721 Enrolled- 30 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1        the ear, before purchasing a hearing instrument; or a
2        test by a licensed audiologist or licensed hearing
3        instrument dispenser utilizing established procedures
4        and instrumentation in the fitting of hearing
5        instruments. I do not wish either a medical evaluation
6        or test before purchasing a hearing instrument."
7    (g) Where a sale, lease, or rental of prescription hearing
8aids are instruments is sold or contracted to be sold to a
9consumer by mail order or via the Internet, the consumer may
10void the contract or sale by notifying the seller within 45
11business days following that day on which the hearing aids
12instruments were mailed by the seller to the consumer and by
13returning to the seller in its original condition any hearing
14aids instrument delivered to the consumer under the contract
15or sale. At the time the hearing aid instrument is mailed, the
16seller shall furnish the consumer with a fully completed
17receipt or copy of any contract pertaining to the sale that
18contains a "Notice of Cancellation" informing the consumer
19that he or she may cancel the sale at any time within 45
20business days and disclosing the date of the mailing and the
21name, address, and telephone number of the seller. In
22immediate proximity to the space reserved in the contract for
23the signature of the consumer, or on the front page of the
24receipt if a contract is not used, and in bold face type of a
25minimum size of 10 points, there shall be a statement in
26substantially the following form:



SB1721 Enrolled- 31 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1        "You, the buyer, may cancel this transaction at any
2    time prior to midnight of the 45th business day after the
3    date of this transaction. See the attached notice of
4    cancellation form for an explanation of this right."
5    Attached to the receipt or contract shall be a completed
6form in duplicate, captioned "NOTICE OF CANCELLATION" which
7shall be easily detachable and which shall contain in at least
810 point bold face type the following information and
9statements in the same language as that used in the contract:
enter date of transaction



SB1721 Enrolled- 32 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

2    WRITTEN NOTICE, OR SEND A TELEGRAM, TO (name of seller),
3    AT (address of seller's place of business) AND (seller's
4    telephone number) NO LATER THAN MIDNIGHT OF
5    ...........(date).
9(Buyers Signature)"
10    The written "Notice of Cancellation" may be sent by the
11consumer to the seller to cancel the contract. The 45-day
12period does not commence until the consumer is furnished the
13Notice of Cancellation and the address and phone number at
14which such notice to the seller can be given.
15    If the conditions of this Section are met, the seller must
16return to the consumer the amount of any payment made or
17consideration given under the contract or for the merchandise
18less a nonrefundable restocking fee.
19    It is an unlawful practice for a seller to: (1) hold a
20consumer responsible for any liability or obligation under any
21mail order transaction if the consumer claims not to have
22received the merchandise unless the merchandise was sent by
23certified mail or other delivery method by which the seller is
24provided with proof of delivery; (2) fail, before furnishing
25copies of the "Notice of Cancellation" to the consumer, to
26complete both copies by entering the name of the seller, the



SB1721 Enrolled- 33 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1address of the seller's place of business, the seller's
2telephone number, the date of the mailing, and the date, not
3earlier than the 45th business day following the date of the
4mailing, by which the consumer may give notice of
5cancellation; (3) include in any contract or receipt any
6confession of judgment or any waiver of any of the rights to
7which the consumer is entitled under this Section including
8specifically his right to cancel the sale in accordance with
9the provisions of this Section; (4) misrepresent in any manner
10the consumer's right to cancel; (5) use any undue influence,
11coercion, or any other wilful act or representation to
12interfere with the consumer's exercise of his rights under
13this Section; (6) fail or refuse to honor any valid notice of
14cancellation and return of merchandise by a consumer and,
15within 10 business days after the receipt of such notice and
16merchandise pertaining to such transaction, to (i) refund
17payments made under the contract or sale, (ii) return any
18goods or property traded in, in substantially as good
19condition as when received by the person, (iii) cancel and
20return any negotiable instrument executed by the consumer in
21connection with the contract or sale and take any action
22necessary or appropriate to terminate promptly any security
23interest created in the transaction; (7) negotiate, transfer,
24sell, or assign any note or other evidence of indebtedness to a
25finance company or other third party prior to the 50th
26business day following the day of the mailing; or (8) fail to



SB1721 Enrolled- 34 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1provide the consumer of a hearing aid instrument with written
2information stating the name, address, and telephone number of
3the Department and informing the consumer that complaints
4regarding hearing aid instrument goods or services may be made
5to the Department.
6    (h) The organization employs only licensed hearing
7instrument professionals dispensers in the dispensing of
8hearing aids instruments and files with the Department, by
9January 1 of each year, a list of all licensed hearing
10instrument professionals dispensers employed by it.
11(Source: P.A. 98-362, eff. 8-16-13; 98-827, eff. 1-1-15.)
12    (225 ILCS 50/7)  (from Ch. 111, par. 7407)
13    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
14    Sec. 7. Exemptions.
15    (a) The following are exempt from this Act:
16        (1) Licensed physicians. This exemption, however, does
17    not apply to a physician's employee or subcontractor who
18    is not a physician.
19        (2) Persons who only repair or manufacture hearing
20    instruments and their accessories for wholesale.
21    (b) Audiometers used by persons exempt from this Act to
22dispense hearing instruments must meet the annual calibration
23requirements and current standards set by the American
24National Standards Institute.
25    (c) Audiologists licensed under the Illinois



SB1721 Enrolled- 35 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Practice Act are
2exempt from licensure under this Act, but are otherwise
3subject to the practices and provisions of this Act.
4    (d) Hearing aid technicians are exempt from licensure
5under this Act but are otherwise subject to the practices and
6provisions of this Act.
7(Source: P.A. 91-932, eff. 1-1-01.)
8    (225 ILCS 50/8)  (from Ch. 111, par. 7408)
9    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
10    Sec. 8. Applicant qualifications; examination.
11    (a) In order to protect persons who are deaf or hard of
12hearing, the Department shall authorize or shall conduct an
13appropriate examination, which may be the International
14Hearing Society's licensure examination, for persons who
15dispense, test, select, recommend, fit, or service hearing
16aids instruments. The frequency of holding these examinations
17shall be determined by the Department by rule. Those who
18successfully pass such an examination shall be issued a
19license as a hearing instrument dispenser, which shall be
20effective for a 2-year period.
21    (b) Applicants shall be:
22        (1) at least 18 years of age;
23        (2) of good moral character;
24        (3) the holder of an associate's degree or the
25    equivalent;



SB1721 Enrolled- 36 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1        (4) free of contagious or infectious disease; and
2        (5) a citizen or person lawfully present in the United
3    States.
4    Felony convictions of the applicant and findings against
5the applicant involving matters set forth in Sections 17 and
618 shall be considered in determining moral character, but
7such a conviction or finding shall not make an applicant
8ineligible to register for examination.
9    (c) Prior to engaging in the practice of prescribing,
10fitting, dispensing, or servicing hearing aids instruments, an
11applicant shall demonstrate, by means of written and practical
12examinations, that such person is qualified to practice the
13testing, selecting, recommending, fitting, selling, or
14servicing of hearing aids instruments as defined in this Act.
15An applicant must obtain a license within 12 months after
16passing either the written or practical examination, whichever
17is passed first, or must take and pass those examinations
18again in order to be eligible to receive a license.
19    The Department shall, by rule, determine the conditions
20under which an individual is examined.
21    (d) Proof of having met the minimum requirements of
22continuing education as determined by the Board shall be
23required of all license renewals. Pursuant to rule, the
24continuing education requirements may, upon petition to the
25Board, be waived in whole or in part if the hearing instrument
26dispenser can demonstrate that he or she served in the Coast



SB1721 Enrolled- 37 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1Guard or Armed Forces, had an extreme hardship, or obtained
2his or her license by examination or endorsement within the
3preceding renewal period.
4    (e) Persons applying for an initial license must
5demonstrate having earned, at a minimum, an associate degree
6or its equivalent from an accredited institution of higher
7education that is recognized by the U.S. Department of
8Education or that meets the U.S. Department of Education
9equivalency as determined through a National Association of
10Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) member, and meet the
11other requirements of this Section. In addition, the applicant
12must demonstrate the successful completion of (1) 12 semester
13hours or 18 quarter hours of academic undergraduate course
14work in an accredited institution consisting of 3 semester
15hours of anatomy and physiology of the hearing mechanism, 3
16semester hours of hearing science, 3 semester hours of
17introduction to audiology, and 3 semester hours of aural
18rehabilitation, or the quarter hour equivalent or (2) an
19equivalent program as determined by the Department that is
20consistent with the scope of practice of a hearing instrument
21dispenser as defined in Section 3 of this Act. Persons
22licensed before January 1, 2003 who have a valid license on
23that date may have their license renewed without meeting the
24requirements of this subsection.
25(Source: P.A. 102-1030, eff. 5-27-22.)



SB1721 Enrolled- 38 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1    (225 ILCS 50/9)  (from Ch. 111, par. 7409)
2    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
3    Sec. 9. Areas of examination. The examination required by
4Section 8 shall be set forth by rule and demonstrate the
5applicant's technical qualifications by:
6        (a) Tests of knowledge in the following areas as they
7    pertain to the testing, selecting, recommending, fitting,
8    and selling of hearing aids instruments:
9            (1) characteristics of sound;
10            (2) the nature of the ear; and
11            (3) the function and maintenance of hearing aids
12        instruments.
13        (b) Practical tests of proficiency in techniques as
14    they pertain to the fitting of hearing aids instruments
15    shall be prescribed by the Department, set forth by rule,
16    and include candidate qualifications in the following
17    areas:
18            (1) pure tone audiometry including air conduction
19        testing and bone conduction testing;
20            (2) live voice or recorded voice speech
21        audiometry, including speech reception, threshold
22        testing and speech discrimination testing;
23            (3) masking;
24            (4) proper selection and adaptation of a hearing
25        instrument;
26            (5) taking earmold impressions;



SB1721 Enrolled- 39 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1            (6) proper maintenance procedures; and
2            (7) a general knowledge of the medical and
3        physical contra-indications to the use and fitting of
4        a hearing aids instrument.
5        (c) Knowledge of the general medical and hearing
6    rehabilitation facilities in the area being served.
7        (d) Knowledge of the provisions of this Act and the
8    rules promulgated hereunder.
9(Source: P.A. 96-683, eff. 1-1-10.)
10    (225 ILCS 50/9.5)
11    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
12    Sec. 9.5. Trainees.
13    (a) In order to receive a trainee license, a person must
14apply to the Department and provide acceptable evidence of his
15or her completion of the required courses pursuant to
16subsection (e) of Section 8 of this Act, or its equivalent as
17determined by the Department. A trainee license expires 12
18months from the date of issue and is non-renewable.
19    (b) A trainee shall perform the functions of a hearing
20instrument dispenser in accordance with the Department rules
21and only under the direct supervision of a hearing instrument
22dispenser or audiologist who is licensed in the State. For the
23purposes of this Section, "direct supervision" means that the
24licensed hearing instrument dispenser or audiologist shall
25give final approval to all work performed by the trainee and



SB1721 Enrolled- 40 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1shall be physically present anytime the trainee has contact
2with the client. The licensed hearing instrument dispenser or
3audiologist is responsible for all of the work that is
4performed by the trainee.
5    (c) The Department may limit the number of trainees that
6may be under the direct supervision of the same licensed
7hearing instrument dispenser or licensed audiologist.
8    (d) The Department may establish a trainee licensing fee
9by rule.
10    (e) A trainee may be supervised by more than one licensed
11hearing instrument professional. The trainee must complete a
12hearing instrument consumer protection program license
13verification form for each supervising licensed hearing
14instrument professional.
15(Source: P.A. 98-827, eff. 1-1-15.)
16    (225 ILCS 50/12 new)
17    Sec. 12. Hearing aid technicians.
18    (a) Hearing aid technicians may be employed by a hearing
19instrument professional to assist in the dispensing and
20servicing of hearing instruments without a license. A hearing
21aid technician must work under the direct supervision of a
22licensed hearing instrument professional.
23    (b) The duties of a hearing aid technician are limited to
24the following:
25        (1) packaging and mailing earmold orders, repaired



SB1721 Enrolled- 41 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1    devices, and manufacturer or lab returns;
2        (2) maintaining an inventory of supplies;
3        (3) performing checks on hearing aids and other
4    amplification devices and equipment;
5        (4) troubleshooting and performing minor repairs to
6    hearing aids, earmolds, and other amplification devices
7    which do not alter the shape, sound characteristics, or
8    performance of the device;
9        (5) cleaning of hearing aids and other amplification
10    devices;
11        (6) performing electroacoustic analysis of hearing
12    aids and other amplification devices;
13        (7) instructing patients in proper use and care of
14    hearing aids and other amplification devices;
15        (8) demonstration of alerting and assistive listening
16    devices;
17        (9) performing infection control duties within the
18    clinic or service; and
19        (10) contacting hearing instrument manufacturers and
20    suppliers regarding status of orders and repairs.
21    (c) The licensed hearing instrument professional is
22responsible for all services performed by the hearing aid
23technician under the professional's direct supervision.
24    (225 ILCS 50/14)  (from Ch. 111, par. 7414)
25    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)



SB1721 Enrolled- 42 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1    Sec. 14. Powers and duties of the Department. The powers
2and duties of the Department are:
3    (a) To issue licenses and to administer examinations to
4applicants, which must be offered at least on a quarterly
6    (b) To license persons who are qualified to engage in the
7testing, recommending, fitting, selling, and dispensing of
8hearing instruments;
9    (c) To provide the equipment and facilities necessary for
10the examination;
11    (d) To issue and to renew licenses;
12    (e) To suspend or revoke licenses or to take such other
13disciplinary action as provided in this Act;
14    (f) To consider all recommendations and requests of the
15Board and to inform it of all actions of the Department insofar
16as hearing instrument dispensers are concerned, including any
17instances where the actions of the Department are contrary to
18the recommendations of the Board;
19    (g) To promulgate rules necessary to implement this Act;
20    (h) (Blank); and
21    (i) To conduct such consumer education programs and
22awareness programs for persons with a hearing impairment as
23may be recommended by the Board.
24(Source: P.A. 91-932, eff. 1-1-01.)
25    (225 ILCS 50/16)  (from Ch. 111, par. 7416)



SB1721 Enrolled- 43 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
2    Sec. 16. Hearing Instrument Consumer Protection Board.
3There shall be established a Hearing Instrument Consumer
4Protection Board which shall assist, advise and make
5recommendations to the Department.
6    The Board shall consist of 7 6 members who shall be
7residents of Illinois. One shall be a licensed physician who
8specializes in otology or otolaryngology; one shall be a
9member of a consumer-oriented organization concerned with the
10deaf or hard of hearing; one shall be from the general public,
11preferably a senior citizen; 2 shall be licensed hearing
12instrument dispensers who are National Board Certified Hearing
13Instrument Specialists; and 2 one shall be a licensed
14audiologist. If a vote of the Board results in a tie, the
15Director shall cast the deciding vote.
16    Members of the Board shall be appointed by the Director
17after consultation with appropriate professional organizations
18and consumer groups. As soon as practical after the effective
19date of this amendatory Act of the 103rd General Assembly, the
20Director shall appoint the members of the Board. The term of
21office of each shall be 4 years. Before a member's term
22expires, the Director shall appoint a successor to assume
23member's duties at the expiration of his or her predecessor's
24term. A vacancy shall be filled by appointment for the
25unexpired term. The members shall annually designate one
26member as chairman. No member of the Board who has served 2



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1successive, full terms may be reappointed. The Director may
2remove members for good cause.
3    Members of the Board shall receive reimbursement for
4actual and necessary travel and for other expenses, not to
5exceed the limit established by the Department.
6(Source: P.A. 98-827, eff. 1-1-15.)
7    (225 ILCS 50/17)  (from Ch. 111, par. 7417)
8    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
9    Sec. 17. Duties of the Board. The Board shall advise the
10Department in all matters relating to this Act and shall
11assist as requested by the Director.
12    The Board shall respond to issues and problems relating to
13the improvement of services to the deaf or hard of hearing and
14shall make such recommendations as it considers advisable. It
15shall file an annual report with the Director and shall meet at
16least twice a year. The Board may meet at any time at the call
17of the chair.
18    The Board shall recommend specialized education programs
19for persons wishing to become licensed as hearing instrument
20dispensers and shall, by rule, establish minimum standards of
21continuing education required for license renewal. No more
22than 5 hours of continuing education credit per year, however,
23can be obtained through programs sponsored by hearing
24instrument manufacturers. Continuing education credit A
25minimum of 2 hours of continuing education credit per



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1licensing period must include a minimum of (i) 2 hours be
2obtained in Illinois law and ethics, (ii) one hour in sexual
3harassment prevention training, and (iii) one hour in implicit
4bias awareness. Continuing education offered by a college,
5university, or bar association, the International Hearing
6Society, the American Academy of Audiology, the American
7Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the Illinois
8Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the Illinois Academy of
9Audiology, or the Illinois Hearing Society regarding Illinois
10law and ethics shall be accepted toward satisfaction of the
11Illinois law and ethics continuing education requirement.
12    The Board shall hear charges brought by any person against
13hearing instrument dispensers and shall recommend disciplinary
14action to the Director.
15    Members of the Board are immune from liability in any
16action based upon a licensing proceeding or other act
17performed in good faith as a member of the Board.
18(Source: P.A. 98-827, eff. 1-1-15; 99-204, eff. 7-30-15.)
19    (225 ILCS 50/18)  (from Ch. 111, par. 7418)
20    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
21    Sec. 18. Discipline by the Department. The Department may
22refuse to issue or renew a license or it may revoke, suspend,
23place on probation, censure, fine, or reprimand a licensee for
24any of the following:
25        (a) Material misstatement in furnishing information to



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1    the Department or to any other State or federal agency.
2        (b) Violations of this Act, or the rules promulgated
3    hereunder.
4        (c) Conviction of any crime under the laws of the
5    United States or any state or territory thereof which is a
6    felony or misdemeanor, an essential element of dishonesty,
7    or of any crime which is directly related to the practice
8    of the profession.
9        (d) Making any misrepresentation for the purpose of
10    obtaining a license or renewing a license, including
11    falsification of the continuing education requirement.
12        (e) Professional incompetence.
13        (f) Malpractice.
14        (g) Aiding or assisting another person in violating
15    any provision of this Act or the rules promulgated
16    hereunder.
17        (h) Failing, within 30 days, to provide in writing
18    information in response to a written request made by the
19    Department.
20        (i) Engaging in dishonorable, unethical, or
21    unprofessional conduct which is likely to deceive,
22    defraud, or harm the public.
23        (j) Knowingly employing, directly or indirectly, any
24    suspended or unlicensed person to perform any services
25    covered by this Act.
26        (k) Habitual intoxication or addiction to the use of



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1    drugs.
2        (l) Discipline by another state, the District of
3    Columbia, territory, or a foreign nation, if at least one
4    of the grounds for the discipline is the same or
5    substantially equivalent to those set forth herein.
6        (m) Directly or indirectly giving to or receiving from
7    any person, firm, corporation, partnership, or association
8    any fee, commission, rebate, or other form of compensation
9    for any service not actually rendered. Nothing in this
10    paragraph (m) affects any bona fide independent contractor
11    or employment arrangements among health care
12    professionals, health facilities, health care providers,
13    or other entities, except as otherwise prohibited by law.
14    Any employment arrangements may include provisions for
15    compensation, health insurance, pension, or other
16    employment benefits for the provision of services within
17    the scope of the licensee's practice under this Act.
18    Nothing in this paragraph (m) shall be construed to
19    require an employment arrangement to receive professional
20    fees for services rendered.
21        (n) A finding by the Board that the licensee, after
22    having his or her license placed on probationary status,
23    has violated the terms of probation.
24        (o) Willfully making or filing false records or
25    reports.
26        (p) Willfully failing to report an instance of



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1    suspected child abuse or neglect as required by the Abused
2    and Neglected Child Reporting Act.
3        (q) Physical illness, including, but not limited to,
4    deterioration through the aging process, or loss of motor
5    skill which results in the inability to practice the
6    profession with reasonable judgement, skill or safety.
7        (r) Solicitation of services or products by
8    advertising that is false or misleading. An advertisement
9    is false or misleading if it:
10            (1) contains an intentional misrepresentation of
11        fact;
12            (2) contains a false statement as to the
13        licensee's professional achievements, education,
14        skills, or qualifications in the hearing instrument
15        dispensing profession;
16            (3) makes a partial disclosure of a relevant fact,
17        including:
18                (i) the advertisement of a discounted price of
19            an item without identifying in the advertisement
20            or at the location of the item either the specific
21            product being offered at the discounted price or
22            the usual price of the item; and
23                (ii) the advertisement of the price of a
24            specifically identified hearing instrument if more
25            than one hearing instrument appears in the same
26            advertisement without an accompanying price;



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1            (4) contains a representation that a product
2        innovation is new when, in fact, the product was first
3        offered by the manufacturer to the general public in
4        this State not less than 12 months before the date of
5        the advertisement;
6            (5) contains any other representation, statement,
7        or claim that is inherently misleading or deceptive;
8        or
9            (6) contains information that the licensee
10        manufactures hearing instruments at the licensee's
11        office location unless the following statement
12        includes a statement disclosing that the instruments
13        are manufactured by a specified manufacturer and
14        assembled by the licensee.
15        (s) Participating in subterfuge or misrepresentation
16    in the fitting or servicing of a hearing instrument.
17        (t) (Blank).
18        (u) Representing that the service of a licensed
19    physician or other health professional will be used or
20    made available in the fitting, adjustment, maintenance, or
21    repair of hearing instruments or hearing aids when that is
22    not true, or using the words "doctor", "audiologist",
23    "clinic", "Clinical Audiologist", "Certified Hearing Aid
24    Audiologist", "State Licensed", "State Certified",
25    "Hearing Instrument Care Professional", "Licensed Hearing
26    Instrument Dispenser", "Licensed Hearing Aid Dispenser",



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1    "Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist", "Hearing
2    Instrument Specialist", "Licensed Audiologist", or any
3    other term, abbreviation, or symbol which would give the
4    impression that service is being provided by persons who
5    are licensed or awarded a degree or title, or that an
6    entity utilizes the services of an individual who is
7    licensed or has been awarded a degree or title, or that the
8    person's service who is holding the license has been
9    recommended by a governmental agency or health provider,
10    when such is not the case.
11        (v) Advertising a manufacturer's product or using a
12    manufacturer's name or trademark implying a relationship
13    which does not exist.
14        (w) Directly or indirectly giving or offering anything
15    of value to any person who advises another in a
16    professional capacity, as an inducement to influence the
17    purchase of a product sold or offered for sale by a hearing
18    instrument dispenser or influencing persons to refrain
19    from dealing in the products of competitors.
20        (x) Conducting business while suffering from a
21    contagious disease.
22        (y) Engaging in the fitting or sale of hearing
23    instruments under a name with fraudulent intent.
24        (z) Dispensing a hearing instrument to a person who
25    has not been given tests utilizing appropriate established
26    procedures and instrumentation in the fitting of



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1    prescription hearing aids instruments, except where there
2    is the replacement of a hearing instrument, of the same
3    make and model within one year of the dispensing of the
4    original hearing instrument.
5        (aa) Unavailability or unwillingness to adequately
6    provide for service or repair of hearing instruments or
7    hearing aids fitted and sold by the dispenser.
8        (bb) Violating the regulations of the Federal Food and
9    Drug Administration or the Federal Trade Commission as
10    they affect hearing aids or instruments.
11        (cc) Violating any provision of the Consumer Fraud and
12    Deceptive Business Practices Act.
13        (dd) Violating the Health Care Worker Self-Referral
14    Act.
15        (ee) Failing to adequately supervise a hearing aid
16    technician or allowing a hearing aid technician to
17    practice beyond the hearing aid technician's training or
18    the duties set forth in Section 12.
19        (ff) Filing a false claim with a third-party payer.
20    The Department, with the approval of the Board, may impose
21a fine not to exceed $1,000 plus costs for the first violation
22and not to exceed $5,000 plus costs for each subsequent
23violation of this Act, and the rules promulgated hereunder, on
24any person or entity described in this Act. Such fine may be
25imposed as an alternative to any other disciplinary measure,
26except for probation. The imposition by the Department of a



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1fine for any violation does not bar the violation from being
2alleged in subsequent disciplinary proceedings. Such fines
3shall be deposited in the Fund.
4(Source: P.A. 100-201, eff. 8-18-17.)
5    (225 ILCS 50/19)  (from Ch. 111, par. 7419)
6    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
7    Sec. 19. Injunctions; civil penalties.
8    (a) The practice of prescribing, fitting, dispensing, and
9servicing hearing instruments or hearing aids by any person
10not at that time in possession of a valid and current license
11under this Act is hereby declared to be a Class A misdemeanor.
12The Director of the Department, through the Attorney General
13or the State's Attorney of any county, may maintain an action
14in the name of the people of the State of Illinois and may
15apply for an injunction in the circuit court to enjoin such
16person from engaging in such practice. Any person may apply
17for an injunction in the circuit court to enjoin a person from
18engaging without a license in practices for which a license is
19required under this Act. Upon the filing of a verified
20petition in such court, the court, if satisfied by affidavit
21or otherwise, that such person has been engaged in such
22practice without a current license to do so, may enter a
23temporary restraining order without notice or bond, enjoining
24the defendant from such further practice. A copy of the
25verified complaint shall be served upon the defendant and the



SB1721 Enrolled- 53 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1proceedings shall thereafter be conducted as other civil
2cases. If it is established that the defendant has been, or is
3engaged in any unlawful practice, the court may enter an order
4or judgment perpetually enjoining the defendant from further
5such practice. In all proceedings hereunder, the court, in its
6discretion, may apportion the costs among the parties
7interested in the action, including cost of filing the
8complaint, service of process, witness fees and expenses,
9court reporter charges and reasonable attorneys fees. In case
10of violation of any injunctive order entered pursuant to this
11Section, the court, may try and punish the offender for
12contempt of court. Such injunctive proceedings shall be in
13addition to all penalties and other remedies in this Act. Any
14such costs that may accrue to the Department shall be placed in
15the Fund.
16    (b) A person who engages in the selling of hearing
17instruments or hearing aids or the practice of prescribing,
18fitting, dispensing, or servicing hearing instruments or
19hearing aids or displays a sign, advertises, or represents
20himself or herself as a person who practices the fitting and
21selling of hearing instruments or hearing aids without being
22licensed or exempt under this Act shall, in addition to any
23other penalty provided by law, pay a civil penalty to the
24Department in an amount not to exceed $5,000 for each offense,
25as determined by the Department. The civil penalty shall be
26assessed by the Department after a hearing is held in



SB1721 Enrolled- 54 -LRB103 27016 AMQ 53383 b

1accordance with the provisions set forth in this Act regarding
2the provision of a hearing for the discipline of a licensee.
3    (c) The Department may investigate any actual, alleged, or
4suspected unlicensed activity.
5    (d) The civil penalty shall be paid within 60 days after
6the effective date of the order imposing the civil penalty.
7The order shall constitute a judgment and may be filed and
8execution had thereon in the same manner as any judgment from
9any court of record.
10(Source: P.A. 89-72, eff. 12-31-95.)
11    (225 ILCS 50/20)  (from Ch. 111, par. 7420)
12    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
13    Sec. 20. Inactive status. A hearing instrument dispenser
14who notifies the Department, on the prescribed forms, may
15place his or her license on inactive status and shall be exempt
16from payment of renewal fees until he or she notifies the
17Department in writing, of the intention to resume the practice
18of testing, fitting, dispensing, selecting, recommending, and
19servicing hearing aids instruments and pays the current
20renewal fee and demonstrates compliance with any continuing
21education that may be required. However, if such period of
22inactive status is more than 2 years, the hearing instrument
23dispenser shall also provide the Department with sworn
24evidence certifying to active practice in another jurisdiction
25that is satisfactory to the Department. If such person has not



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1practiced in any jurisdiction for 2 years or more, he or she
2shall be required to restore his or her license by retaking and
3passing the examinations required in Section 8. Any hearing
4instrument dispenser whose license is on inactive status shall
5not practice in Illinois.
6(Source: P.A. 89-72, eff. 12-31-95.)
7    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect January
81, 2024.