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News: Have we got a hearing aid for you!

Have we got a hearing aid for you!

Have we got a hearing aid for you!

21/06/2017 - Audiologists, Ethics, Hearing Aids, Hearing loss, Treatment

If you missed it, The ABC’s CheckOut program recently did a segment on the hearing aid industry in Australia. It provides some enlightening insights into the industry and some tips to ensure you get the right hearing health treatment for you.

You can watch the segment below but here are the main takeaways:

The hearing aid industry in Australia is not regulated. Anyone can set up shop and “prescribe” hearing aids calling themselves an audiologist. That’s why it’s imperative that you check that your clinician is a fully qualified audiologist.

Some clinics set sales targets for their clinicians and reward them with commissions raising the issue of prescribing for profit rather than best fit.

Some clinics train their staff in sales techniques to sell more expensive aids and have competitions to see who can sell the most.

1 in 3 people who are sold a hearing aid don’t use them either because they didn’t go through the proper fitting and rehabilitation, or because they didn’t need one at all.

Many hearing clinics are owned by hearing aid manufacturers. The following clinics are owned by manufacturers:

  • Hearing Life is owned by company William Demant which owns the following hearing aid manufacturers: Oticon, bernafon and Sonic.
  • AudioClinic is also run by Wlliam Demant
  • Connect Hearing is owned by Sonova who owns the manufacturers Unitron and Phonak
  • Bloom Hearing Specialists is owned by Widex
  • iHear is owned by Starkey
  • National Hearing Care is not owned by a manufacturer but is owned by hearing aid distribution giant Amplifon

To avoid the conflict of interest ensure you seek out a fully qualified independent audiologist at aaapp.org.au

Ask questions about your audiologist’s recommendations and whether a more cost-effective model would have the same benefit for your hearing – discuss your specific needs (budget and lifestyle) with your audiologist.

You might find cheaper models online but you will still need to pay an audiologist to fit and adjust the device and ongoing rehabilitation.

Some people may be eligible for free Government assistance (eg some pensioners, DVA card holders and others) via the Office of Hearing Services Program (OHS) – see hearingservices.gov.au for eligibility

Even if you get funding via the Government for hearing aids, some clinics train their staff to upsell you to what’s called “top-ups” – devices above and beyond what’s provided for under the OHS Program – which will cost you money.

All goods and services provided by audiologists are covered by Australian consumer laws like being fit for purpose.

More information

For more information on your rights and getting the best from your hearing health provider check out the following resources:

Why choose Clarity as your hearing health provider?

Our hearing treatment is based on our five ethical practice principles: accurate, expert diagnosis; evidence-based treatment; transparent, competitive pricing; free from commissions and sales targets; independence. This means you get the right solution for you, your lifestyle, and your budget. Compare prices on all hearing aids on our products page. As we unbundle all pricing you see exactly what you are paying for what.

Clarity is proudly independently Queensland-owned and provide advanced hearing aids and audiological expertise in hearings aids, accessories, balance/vestibular and CAP testing, cochlear implants and bone anchored hearing aids. We have clinics throughout metro, regional and remote Queensland and provide remote telehealth services where required.

We are government registered for the Office of Hearing Services Program and the NDIS and provide advanced free hearing aids to eligible pensioners, DVA card holders and NDIS participants.

 

 

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