Audiologists or Dispensers – Part 2

In Audiologists or Dispensers – Part 1, we introduced corporate and professional business models for hearing health care, and indicated that the level of professional service you receive is linked directly to the business model of the hearing care provider you choose.  Audiologists or Dispensers – Part 2 details the vastly different academic and knowledge requirements for audiologists vs. hearing aid dispensers, and how these differences dictate the legal responsibilities available to each group. It should be noted that audiologists fit hearing aids just like dispensers, but they can legally do much more for your hearing health, whereas dispensers are fundamentally permitted to …

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Patient-Centered Hearing-Health Care vs. Sales-Centered Hearing Care

The Bottom Line The following table compares the professional business model, represented by doctor-level audiologist such as those working at Pacific Northwest Audiology, and the corporate business model, represented by “Big Box”, manufacturing, and franchise retailers. The bottom line is that when you select a hearing care provider you also accept their business model…and the consequences of that model. You can choose patient-centered hearing-health care by a Doctor of Audiology, or volume sales-centered care by a technician. Given the increasing evidence linking medical, emotional, and social consequences to hearing loss, we hope the table guides you to your best choice for a hearing …

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Audiologist or Dispenser – Part 1

Introduction We have many customers who initially responded to “Big Box” discount advertising or hearing aid franchise promises, only to discover later that their discounted products weren’t as cheap as the promises that brought them into the store, and their expensive new hearing aids didn’t help them communicate any better than they did before laying down a large chunk of cash. As it turned out, most of the problems were caused by minimally trained technicians with little knowledge of hearing science, or the inherent complexity of matching hearing aid technology to individual hearing loss. To the store’s benefit, however, many of these technicians were quite adept at …

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Choices and Consequences

Introduction We get many customers who initially responded to “Big Box” discount advertising, only to discover later that they had expensive products that didn’t help them communicate any better than they did before spending a large chunk of cash. This article was written as a response to that sad fact of life…and to give consumers the fire power they need to make informed choices. If you are in a hurry look for the Einstein Icons, but we recommend reading the entire article…it could save you from considerable frustration and disappointment. You may not be aware of it…but when you choose …

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Need Hearing Care? Choose A Business Model!

Introduction You may not be aware of it…but when you choose a hearing provider you are also choosing a business model. One model works off the proposition that profits alone are the bottom line for generating future profitability. This model is exemplified by “Big Box” stores such as Costco and a legion of minimally trained hearing aid dispensers. The competing business model proposes that customer satisfaction drives customer loyalty…and customer loyalty drives profitability and growth. This business model is typified by audiologists trained in an end-to-end process of patient-centered hearing care. The following paragraphs will show that business model implementations …

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Hearing Health

A healthy hearing system is important because it allows us to connect with the world, but untreated hearing problems can have a devastating effect on our overall health and happiness. This is the first of a series of articles that will explore hearing health for all age groups while revealing the medical and emotional consequences of untreated hearing loss. We will also provide tips for improving your hearing and overall health. This first issue will clarify the difference between Audiologists and “hearing aid dispensers”. Subsequent issues will explore 1) age-related and noise-induced hearing loss, 2) the consequences of untreated hearing …

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Why Choose an Audiologist?

The Struggle For the Heart and Soul of Hearing Care… The following “hot-button” article was co-authored by Dr. Li-Korotky and Josh Korotky. It explains how hearing care is being repositioned from a patient- to a profit-centered standard…and why you should care. There’s an ongoing struggle between opposing business philosophies to define the scope and practice of hearing care. Audiologists and professional audiology organizations such as the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (an organization that promotes independent audiology managed practices) and AuDNet (a nationwide network of independent audiology practices) believe hearing care should be patient-centered and managed by Doctors of Audiology. …

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