Hearing Aid Dispensing Question?

SuteraK suterak at aol.com
Fri Feb 23 14:17:21 EST 1996


Paul,
Thank you for your e-mail response.  I appreciate receiving your opinion
on AMR labs, however....
You missed my point on a couple of issues.  The ethical issue I question
is if the specs are the same when the hearing aid arrives back from the
AMR lab, yet the parts are different, aren’t the patients needs met?  Who
is to say the lab who does the repair actually has put together a better
circuit?  Yes, I have seen hearing aids with circuits that do not resemble
the original circuit, yet I can lay the response sheets from the original
next to the response sheet from the repair, and note there is very minimal
difference.  The difference can be attributed to the placement in the test
chamber. The patient needs have been satisfied, and potentially the aid
could now be a better aid then original.  They could also be worse.  This
also happens with repairs that are sent to their original manufacturer. 
Many times, I have seen an aid come back from the original manufacturer in
worse condition then when I sent it.  Used parts are a reality in original
manufacturer repairs. Some of the manufacturers, I have had an opportunity
to visit, employ repair technicians who have acquired English as their
second language. I admire the manufacturer for this, however, many of my
repair requests have been missed, due to lack of understanding.  This
would indicate that it is equally a risk to send the hearing aid to the
original manufacturer as it is to send it to an AMR lab.  Your experience
with an original manufacturer sending the hearing aid directly to the
patient and billing them directly would indicate that it is a risk as
well.  I think it is important when choosing an AMR lab, to find out about
their credibility first.  You can ask them what percentage of the parts
are new, and what are used.  Expecting them to itemize each part can be
far too tedious.  You as an audiologist can inform the patient that you
are sending it to an AMR lab, and let them make the decision if they want
it repaired using some used parts.  Again, it leads back to having the
choice.  We know their are used parts in both original manufacturer
repaired hearing aids, as well as AMR labs.  We just need to decide where
to send them.
As far as my comments on the “old junker aids” that you feel the labs are
asking for:  Starkey, as well as some other labs, ask for used hearing
aids, but I don’t see in print that they want “old junkers.” 
Again, I enjoyed your opinions.  It is refreshing to see other insights. 
I am sure I would have all of the confidence in a purchase from your
clinic.

K. Sutera



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