Need advice on new aids (fwd)

Jeffrey G. Sirianni sirianni at UTS.CC.UTEXAS.EDU
Mon Jan 29 02:01:03 EST 1996


>From: everest2 at aol.com (Everest2)
>Subject: Re: Need advice on new aids

>>Hears2U (David) wrote:
>>They charge what I believe to be astronomical fees for hearing aids
>>because they have to cover their "limited" practice.  
>
>>>everest2 wrote:
>>>what is the typical markup for a hearing aid?
>
>>>>sirianni writes:
>>>>I see a drawn out debate starting with this type of question.
>>>>Please remember that the mark-up on hearing aids is not to simply
>>>>make a large profit.  
>
>i did not imply that it was.  i don't even know why hearing aids are
>expensive  -- i thought it was largely due to manufacturers.  

Let me just say that the typical mark-up is higher than say a stereo or a TV
set.  There are many factors that make this the case:

1. Expertise of dispenser: you are purchasing this from someone with
extensive training on the selection on fit of a medical device, rather than
some guy in a red vest working at Stereo World. 

2. Rate of return:  The rate of return on hearing aids is typically higher
than that of any product that can be purchased.  Dispensers have to make up
for this by increasing the margin of profit.

3. Follow-up and Counseling: ASHA recommends that hearing aids be dispensed
as part of a rehabilitative package.  Follow-up visits vary among different
dispensers.  I will see anyone with a hearing aid purchased from my office,
at no charge, as long as the hearing aid is still in warranty.  My motto has
always been "If something is wrong, come in and see me, don't just stick it
in the drawer, and don't worry about paying more."  This type of approach
(IMHO) makes hearing aid users happy with the service they receive and will
be a happier user.  They may even tell their friends....

>>>>The mark-up that is involved should cover such
>>>>services as continued follow-up, counseling, and service.  In addition,
>>>>a larger than normal mark-up is is place to help compensate the fact
>>>>that many people return hearing aids for credit.
>
>>>>I like to think of the price of a hearing as follows:  The patient
>>>>pays for the hearing aid itself, plus unlimited follow-ups during
>>>>the time in which the aid is in warranty.  Some patients seldom return
>>>>to see me because they don't require my services, while many others
>>>>spend endless hours working through the adjustment phase.  It all
>>>>balances out in the end.  An audiologist's time is very valuable.
>>>>I often think about the charges a physician receives ($50-$100) for
>>>>a typical office visit of 10 minutes.  If an audiologist spends 1 hour
>>>>once a week for 4 weeks, that is a lot of time.  
>
>no argument here.
>
>>>>I personally don't like the idea of "typical mark-up".  There is too
>>>>much involved in a SUCCESSFUL fitting besides how much to mark-up...
>
>>>>We have been down this road before.... Please step lightly....
>>>>Jeff Sirianni     @(((<{
>
>i had no idea i was stepping into martian mud when i asked the darn
>question.  curiosity gets me in trouble from time to time. (by the way,
>now you really got my curiosity going.  what kind of numbers are we 
>talking about? :)

I don't think anyone wants to talk numbers in this forum.  Sorry to side
step your question.  Please realize that if you buy a hearing aid that you
are happy with, and are happy with the people that dispensed it to you, and
find it beneficial, and "worth the money", that is all that should matter.

>everest2 at aol.com   
>the woods are lovely, dark, and deep,     
>but i have promises to keep,
>and miles to go before i sleep,
>and miles to go before i sleep.
>robert frost


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* Jeff Sirianni, M.A., CCC-A           *
* Sound Advice / R.G. Delaney, M.D.    *
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