What We're Reading: OTC Hearing Aids; Respiratory Devices Failing; Postpartum Medicaid Extended

A new FDA rule will allow hearing aids to be purchased without prescriptions; the FDA has received more than 48,000 reports of faulty Philips respiratory devices between May and July; HHS has extended postpartum Medicaid in Hawaii, Maryland, and Ohio.

Hearing Aids to Be Available Without a Prescription

An FDA rule will allow hearing aids to be accessible over the counter as early as this fall, which will make hearing loss treatment more accessible and potentially less expensive. The rule will apply to patients 18 years and older who have mild to moderate hearing loss and to air-conduction hearing aids, which are worn behind or inside the ear. The FDA has given numerous requirements of the OTC hearing aids, including that all hearing aids need user-adjusted volume and a lower maximum sound output to avoid patients overamplifying.

FDA Receives Reports on Faulty Philips Devices

The FDA has received more than 48,000 reports of faulty Philips respiratory devices and ventilators between May and July, which have resulted in 44 deaths. This number is twice the number of reports the FDA received in more than a year, until April. This comes 1 year after Philips recalled their products in June 2021, in which Philips aimed to repair and replace the devices for most of their patients by December 2022.

HHS Approves 12-Month Postpartum Medicaid Extension

HHS approved a 12-month extension for postpartum Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage in Hawaii, Maryland, and Ohio. This move can allow up to 34,000 people annually to get Medicaid and CHIP coverage for a full year after their pregnancy. With his approval, and previous state approvals, 318,000 Americans are estimated to be eligible for 12 months of postpartum coverage in 21 states and Washington, DC. An estimated 720,000 people nationally would benefit if all other states adopted this option. Currently, Medicaid covers 42% of all births in the nation.