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Top Healthcare Concern Needs Urgent Solution

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Accessible and Affordable Hearing Health Care Grant:$150,000 Granting Agency: National Institutes of Health PROBLEM: Hearing loss (HL) is among the leading public health concerns. Approximately 17% of American adults (36 million people) report some degree of HL. While studies have demonstrated the benefit of hearing aids, fewer than 20% of those with HL who require intervention and treatment seek help for their condition. Untreated HL has social and economic ramifications. Most hearing aid users have lived with HL for over 10 years and their impairments have progressed to moderate-to-severe levels before seeking a hearing aid. For many reasons, the needs of the vast majority of adults with hearing loss are not being met.... America is aging and by 2026, 30% of the US population will be over 55 and 18% will be over 65. A concomitant increase in hearing aid candidates, many of whom will have an initial hearing loss of mild to moderate level and will be active in the workforce, is expected. A recent industry survey found a price range per aid between $1,182 and $2,876 and a recent consumer survey showed consumers spending $1,800 to $6,800 for a pair of hearing aids. In general, hearing aids have an average life of four to six years. A hearing aid wearer, over the wearer’s lifetime, may spend tens of thousands of dollars acquiring and maintaining hearing aids. Given these factors, hearing aids can be among the most expensive items purchased by many Americans with HL, after their home or car. Medicare does not cover the cost of hearing aids. Most insurance programs do not cover hearing aids and of those that do, most pay only a portion of the costs. WEBSITE LINK: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-DC-10-002.html This series of programs are designed to offer tangible solutions to the critical issues that are challenging the quality of life in various populations.