hearing-300x181Is it time for a glimmer of optimism about reducing at least one unacceptably high health care cost?

Say hear, hear then, to the federal Food and Drug Administration’s removing the last regulatory block to consumers with mild to moderate hearing loss buying cheaper, easier to access, over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids — potentially as soon as this fall.

Hearing some fading Bronx cheers? Those may be for the regulators who plodded to potentially benefit tens of millions of folks, who were forking over $5,000 for pairs of medically prescribed devices that previously also required expensive attention of doctors and audiologists. Patients also were ripped for the costs of this care, which typically was not covered by traditional insurance or Medicare. As the Washington Post reported of the regulatory shift to allow OTC hearing devices: