Sivantos—the parent company of Signia, Rexton, HearUSA, and hear.com—has announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with the third-party managed care administrator, TruHearing, based in Draper, Utah, with the goal of combining “Sivantos’ advanced hearing aid solutions with TruHearing’s leading hearing health care services,” according to the company’s press release. The transaction is subject to standard regulatory approvals and the financial details will remain confidential.
TruHearing, with about 170 employees, will reportedly remain an independent business managed from its Salt Lake City headquarters.
“Partnering with Sivantos is a perfect next step for TruHearing,” said Tommy Macdonald, CEO of TruHearing in the press statement. “It allows us to leverage their proven innovation capabilities in our entrepreneurial environment. The combined companies will accelerate TruHearing’s ability to develop and deliver the best hearing healthcare solutions for our health plan partners and their members.”
Macdonald will now be part of the Sivantos management team and continue to lead the TruHearing business.
As one of the most significant trends in hearing healthcare during the past several years, managed care continues to expand its reach with more insurance plans offering hearing aid benefits through a third-party company, such as TruHearing, EPIC, and Hearing Care Solutions. As TruHearing’s VP of Provider Relations Austin Singleton, AuD, and Director of Provider Engagement Patty Greene, MA, explained in a January 2018 Hearing Review article, the landscape for health plans has become increasingly competitive, especially for seniors who can enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan. They pointed out that, in 2015, the number of individual Medicare Advantage enrollees enrolled in a plan with a hearing aid benefit was 47%, and this grew to 65% in 2017.
“As the growth of third-party providers in the hearing industry continues, we recognized the opportunity to join forces with TruHearing, one of the leading players in the space,” said Sivantos USA CEO Steve Mahon. “As a result of this partnership, we will be better equipped to meet the needs of our hearing care professional customers and deliver new ways for them to serve more patients. It also puts us at the forefront of a rapidly changing and always growing market at a crucial time.”
According to Sivantos, the combined company will make it easier for the millions of Americans with hearing loss to get access to Signia hearing aids as part of their healthcare coverage, while positioning Signia as the leading patient referrer for its audiology customers. As hearing loss continues to affect more people at younger ages—and as an increasing number of healthcare companies look to provide hearing aid coverage to their members—third-party administrators are primed for tremendous growth, says Sivantos. The new partnership reportedly enables hearing care professionals to benefit from a steady stream of qualified patient referrals to grow their practices in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
TruHearing becomes the fourth major source of patient referrals from Signia, in addition to its existing partnerships with HearUSA, hear.com, and the dispenser locator tool on its website.
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