Audiologists are Headed for a Train Wreck!

For a Number of Years-

I have worked in the hearing aid industry for a number of years and multiple Doctors. These years have been an education and I have seen many things. I have observed the slow degradation of the position “Doctor of Audiology”. It’s disturbing to think that there has been no actions to stop the process.

I know that Audiologists can cause some change with the example of the unified effort to obtain equal status for Medicare billing, which has not been changed yet!

However, I would have never thought that any “doctor level professional” would accept per hour pay rates that are less than a manual labor employee.

I have to question what are the audiologists thinking, allowing third party companies (some owned by the manufacturers) to dictate the “free” price for a hearing test. I even question what gives third party providers (The Manufacturers) the audacity to come into our competitive area and do telemarketing? This is Insane and everyone says it is a potential conflict of interest. I say it’s just greed for market share.

Audiologists and practice owners are helpless to these thieves.

The Coming Changes Include Removed Hearing Aids Sales

The facts are, a complete hearing test, based on time to cost analysis, should charge five hundred to a thousand dollars. It should be acknowledged as the primary diagnostic tool it is. (Not Just A Test)

Smart Audiologists will assess the cost of doing business which includes equipment, billing, staffing, etc. They should look at each procedure that they do as If the clinics revenue from the sales of hearing aids is removed. This is the only way to have a sustainable business model. I believe that this will be the new business model for the not so distant future.

Audiologists are Headed for a Train Wreck!

“The train” I am speaking about is (The Hearing Aid Sales Model) and it is slowing being taken away by the manufactures through (Under Handed Means) like the purchasing of practices, making locations into company stores, selling in retail outlets and the addition of third parties billing companies.
This is perpetuated with subtle changes, but the process is killing every Audiologists business across the country.

Greed is a Powerful Thing

Greed is a powerful thing, it takes many forms, and best way to see it is to look at the hearing aid manufactures business model. I believe that the hearing aid manufacturers have a 10 year plan that includes; fewer Independent Audiologist and a larger number of Hearing Instrument Specialists working directly for them.

Businesses that understand this change in business control will take actions to stay ahead of these problems. This learning curve will force practices to implement changes in pricing structure for all their services based on profits necessary to cover their overhead. They will have to work and be sustainable without the hearing aid revenue.

What I see now

What I see now can only help to bring changes towards becoming unbundled. I have taken some of the action necessary to remain viable as a business and look towards the future to get prepared for all the additional changes. It will be a rocky road ahead.

My Hope is that Independent Audiologist can become better informed, to be better prepared for the future. Knowledge will help them weather the impending Hearing aid industry turmoil.

Next blog—-Contracts, Unbundling, and Positioning are the keys to overcoming the changes.

Larry Bailey

06/24/2016

Austin Hearing Services / Practice Appeal