Events | June 2016 Hearing Review
AudiologyNOW! attendees were invited to attend a special event during the first day of the AudiologyNOW! Convention in Phoenix hosted by The Hearing Review and brought to attendees courtesy of CareCredit. The symposium, “Aligning Pricing and Services with the Patient Path to Purchase,” offered data from two recent surveys and provided the perspectives of a panel of four experts from audiology, dentistry, and private practice.
Randall Baldwin, CareCredit’s Director of Provider Marketing in vision and hearing care, presented “Insights into Patients’ Decision-making Process for Their Hearing Healthcare,” which surveyed the behavior of patients who had made, or were going to make, a hearing-related purchase requiring an out-of-pocket expense. According to Baldwin, although consumers consider hearing health a “quality of life” issue, patients took on average 97.7 days to research and decide to purchase a hearing device. That research included provider offices (82%), family and friends (67%), and online searches (50%). A key finding was that, once consumers decide to get hearing care, much of their focus shifts to “How can I fit the hearing care into my life/budget/schedule?” The research underscored the need for offering financing: almost as many patients researched cost/finances (84%) as did those who researched hearing care treatments/products (88%). An article on the research is scheduled later this year in The Hearing Review.
Hearing Review Editor Karl Strom presented preliminary results of a dispenser survey conducted in early 2016 that focused on hearing aid pricing. The survey showed a logical good-better-best pricing structure, with median prices of $1,500 for economy, $2,250 for mid-level, and $3,000 for premium hearing aids. When asked about their lowest-priced hearing aid offered, dispensers reported a median price of $995 and an average of $1,010. Most practices (93%) offered at least one hearing aid for less than $1,500, 41% offered a device for less than $900, and 21% for less than $500. In light of Big Box retail, insurance, and online sales, it appears traditional dispensing professionals are responding to sweeping market and pricing pressures by offering lower-cost options. Look for the article by Strom in the July edition of The Hearing Review.
Audiologists Wayne Staab, PhD, and Sugata Bhattacharjee, AuD, dental surgeon Howard Ong, DDS, MAGD, and private practice consultant Bernie Stoltz rounded out the event with a wide-ranging discussion about the presented data, as well as their perspectives on the evolving consumer-driven purchasing environment in hearing care.
Original citation for this article: Strom KE. Hearing Review & CareCredit Symposium: Aligning Pricing and Services with the Patient Path to Purchase. Hearing Review. 2016;23(6):35.