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News: From the Clinic: Buyer beware – It pays to compare

From the Clinic: Buyer beware – It pays to compare

From the Clinic: Buyer beware – It pays to compare

07/08/2017 - Ethics, From the Clinic, Hearing Aids, Hearing loss, Treatment

Debbie and Bill could have saved themselves $9,000 on hearing aids—they just weren’t given all their options.

Debbie and Bill* are both pensioners and live in regional Queensland. Recently they were both due to have their hearing aids updated through the Government’s Office of Hearing Services program.

Their town is serviced irregularly by visiting audiologists so when they saw an audiologist was visiting they decided to book an appointment there and then to get new hearing aids.

After an initial assessment by the visiting audiologist, they were both recommended “top-up” hearings aids (hearing aids not provided free, only subsidised under the OHS program) at a cost of $2250 per hearing aid after the OHS program subsidy. As they have aids in both ears Debbie and Bill were charged $9,000 for these top up hearing aids on top of what the OHS program funds.

After wearing the hearing aids for a little while they both complained that the outcome wasn’t as good as they expected after having paid so much money. Clarity Hearing Solutions were visiting and they decided to come in for a second opinion.

Much to their surprise the exact hearings aids they had purchased were available from Clarity for just $395 each after the OHS program subsidy. By not accepting the first quote and spending a bit of time comparing they could have saved themselves $7,420.

After having recovered from the shock of the price difference they both received new assessments from Clarity. It turned out the aids had been incorrectly set up for their recorded hearing loss. Once we correctly adjusted the aids, Debbie and Bill both confirmed a great improvement in sound quality and hearing outcome.

Sadly, in discussions after the assessment and adjustment, our audiologist took them through the advanced features of their hearing aids — features like Bluetooth and more. Both Debbie and Bill agreed that they would never use those extra features meaning the fully funded options provided by the OHS program would have been more than satisfactory and given them probably the same hearing outcome. Debbie and Bill could have saved themselves $9,000 if only the previous provider had given them all the options for what would have treated their hearing loss.

Remember, the hearing aid industry in Australia is not regulated, and unfortunately it is up to the patient to do research and due diligence to ensure they get the device suited to them at the right price.

If you are concerned about your hearing health treatment, book an appointment with Clarity today.

Request a booking today!

*Patients names have been changed for privacy purposes.

 

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