Audiologists, Headed for a Train Wreck!

Audiologists, Headed for a Train Wreck!

Audiologists, Headed for a Train Wreck!

Audiologists, Headed for a Train Wreck!, need to listen, I work in the hearing aid industry and have for a number of years with multiple Doctors. Years of work have been an education and allowed me to have seen many things.   I have observed the slow degradation of the position “Doctor of Audiology”.  It’s disturbing to think that there is no actions in place to stop this 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


Austin Hearing Services / Practice Appeal


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