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Less than 10% of physicians screen their patients for hearing loss

Primary Care physicians have generally ignored hearing health and consequently patients are not getting diagnosed. Compounding the issue, even when the patient takes action, the current treatment options present significant barriers for the patient, resulting in only 17% getting the treatment they need to improve their life and the life of their loved ones.

Challenges

The traditional hearing aid market makes it difficult for patients to get the help they need. Patients with unusual or severe-profound hearing loss need a fully customized approach and the expertise of a specialist. However, for the 80% of hearing impaired patients with presbycusis, that suffer from age-related high frequency sensorineural hearing loss, the process doesn't have to be difficult or cost prohibitive to get hearing aids; but it is.

Traditional dispensing is a convoluted purchase process

The patient must go to an unfamiliar provider, usually a retail-based hearing aid clinic, or to an Audiologist that that may or may not work for an ENT. About half of the providers are State Licensed Hearing Aid Dispenser and more than half of the hearing aid clinics are controlled directly or indirectly by hearing aid manufacturers.
Once the patient gets to the specialist, it can take 4-6 weeks or more, comprising multiple visits before the patient gets the help they need. Each visit results in the hearing aids being programmed and fine-tuned in hopes of getting them setup to meet the patient's hearing needs. Unfortunately, according to Consumer Reports, 2 out of 3 patients wind up with the wrong programming. Even more discouraging, according the industry's own sources about 20% of hearing aids wind up in the drawer due to patient dissatisfaction.

  • 1-2 hour initial consultation
  • 1-2 hour custom programming/initial fitting (2nd visit)
  • 2-3 more visits for fine-tuning

Traditional hearing aids are too expensive for most patients

Most patients can not afford the typical cost of high quality hearing aids which could range from $4,000 – $6,000 per pair from a retail hearing aid clinic or Audiologist. Some providers charge even higher. In recent years, the clubs have opened hearing aid clinics and generally charge about half the typical cost.

  • NO MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENT
  • Mostly out-of-pocket expense, limited private insurance coverage
  • Some hearing aids are priced as high as $6,000 each

Adding to the cost is the fact that 80% of patients have binaural loss and need to wear two hearing aids.

What is the new solution?

Incorporate a hearing program into your practice

This is not only a simple way for you to help your patients rediscover hearing, but also for you to develop a new revenue and profit stream for your practice.

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