New Patient Advocacy Group Sounds Off on Common Hearing Aid Scams
A new patient advocacy group, Exposing Hearing Aids, has uncovered retailer and provider scams that target consumers seeking to purchase hearing aid devices online. The organization has unveiled a wealth of information that patients should know, including the hidden costs and risks associated with purchasing hearing aids online, how to spot misleading verbiage in provider contracts, and what to expect from an initial visit with a reputable clinician.
Community Outreach Director, Mike Daniels, shared recent cost comparison data that demonstrates how online hearing aid purchases measure up to the cost of purchasing though providers. The data shows that a particular brand of hearing aids purchased online for $1795 can amount to a $2945 price tag after three years of necessary maintenance. After an initial payment of $2580 to a licensed audiologist for the same make and model, that maintenance would be covered for free by contract.
“People are usually shocked by the high price tag that comes with new hearing aids, and end up falling for the deceptively lower prices that they see online without realizing the extra cost of adjustments and maintenance that could otherwise be covered through the right provider. It’s one of the reasons why 95% of people who purchase their first hearing aid online end up going through a clinician for their second set,” said Daniels.
However, Daniels warns that not all clinicians offer their patients the best deal, either. For example, provider contracts that detail “free servicing” won’t necessarily offer “free repairs,” and an honest provider should address the difference with his or her patients. In addition to highlighting retailer scams and “red flags” of provider care, Exposing Hearing Aids arms consumers with the knowledge of what a reputable provider should be doing, including initializing any new patient with a formal hearing evaluation, providing a 30-60 day trial contract for new devices, and never indulging in high-pressure sales for a particular model.
“People don’t count on losing their hearing. It’s just not something people usually plan for. So when it happens, they’re not prepared,” explained Daniels. “But statistics from the [National Institute of Health] show that around 12% of the American population do suffer from some form of hearing loss. That’s a huge number of patients searching for information in an industry that’s riddled with a lot of scams, a lot of false advertising. We just want to help by showing them that there is a standard for hearing loss treatment, and purchasing hearing aids is something that can be done securely and with confidence.”
About Exposing Hearing Aids
The team that fuels ExposingHearingAids.org represents a collective 70 years of experience in the industry, and founded the organization with the mission of helping hearing impaired patients across the country find the simplest, safest, most cost-effective route to better hearing. Their website equips patients with the knowledge they need to confidently embark upon their first hearing treatment, and offers provider ratings and a clinician match-up tool.
Exposing Hearing Aids connects patients with local providers that can help. If you would like a free, no-obligations consultation with a trustworthy clinician, visit: http://exposinghearingaids.org/find-an-audiologist/ or call (888) 445-9748.
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