In the wake of the economic slowdown and credit crunch, many patients are choosing to delay or decline recommended treatment or technology due to concerns about cost.

A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) found 22% of the 686 respondents say they have reduced the number of times they visit a health care professional because of the economic conditions.

One way hearing care professionals can make it easier for patients to get recommended hearing aid technology is by offering no-interest and low-interest payment plans from CareCredit, Orlando, Fla, which features a range of payment options that let patients spread out the cost of care over time, with low monthly payments.

When patients use CareCredit to pay for hearing aids, the practice receives payment within 2 business days. A recent internal study found that with CareCredit as a payment option, many patients are deciding to spend significantly more to get recommended technology.