Practice Management

Dennis Van Vliet, AuD
Van Vliet looks at how the world is changing, noting that today we are busy trying to understand noise reduction options and how to program optimally as technology advances. What will we be doing in 25 years?
professional counseling patients
Author Von Hansen uses a case example to illustrate how a hearing care professional can insert 4 objectives into a patient history consult to transform it into a vital component of the counseling protocol.
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (HR 2) was overwhelmingly approved on a 92-8 vote in the US Senate on April 14, repealing the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and paving the way for ICD-10 code set implementation. However, an amendment to HR 2 that would have repealed Medicare’s Part B outpatient therapy caps was defeated.
ear exam, an online career resource, has named "audiologist" as the #2 job on its list of "The Best Jobs of 2015."

HR Industry Insight

Hearing Aid Manufacturers Market Summary

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Quarterly net unit sales of hearing aids, with the private/commercial market shown in blue, and the VA shown in red. Overall yearly sales percentage gains/losses are displayed at the top of the graph.
Hearing aid sales in the United States during the first quarter of 2015 increased by 11.32% compared to the same period last year, with nearly identical strong sales for both the private sector and the VA.
MAICO Diagnostics and Interacoustics have announced an agreement to offer a full line of hearing testing medical devices to Novation, which represents a large number of hospitals and health care providers.
patient motivation tools
The Ida Institute announced that the VA ASPS Program Office Committee has developed a document that shows how VA audiologists are using Ida tools to help veterans who have hearing loss.
Dennis Van Vliet, AuD
Dr Van Vliet explains how, even though audiologists can’t always help people who aren’t ready or willing to receive our help, we can listen and offer a range of solutions.
student loan debt
The total of student loan debt has grown dramatically and represents one of the largest categories of consumer debt—second only to home mortgages. Here are some tips for effectively dealing with debt from student loans.
This article explains how inspirational leadership results from practicing the art of leading daily, solving small problems early, and being a performance coach to one person at a time.
hi HealthInnovations
hi HealthInnovations, Minnetonka, Minn, has introduced a new hearing aid discount program for health plans intended to help plan participants purchase high-tech, custom program hearing aids.
Dr Frank Lin shares his research on age-related hearing loss and cognition during his 2014 ADA “Game Changer” session, “Hearing Loss and Aging: Consequences, Implications, and Creating Better Outcomes Through Alternate Models of Care.”
In a recent JAAA article, Rebecca Kamil and Frank Lin provide a systematic review of literature about how hearing loss in older adults affects their communication partners. Not surprisingly, what emerges is evidence of restricted social life, burden in communication, and poorer quality of life and relationship satisfaction.
Dennis Van Vliet, AuD
Dr Van Vliet explains how standards of care are necessary to help those in the middle of the bell curve, and also to help us identify the outliers.
Marshall Chasin, AuD
Dr Chasin explains how the use of soft speech changes depending on the language being spoken, which affects hearing aid fittings for bilingual patients.
GENIE Sound Rooms.
Reported to be the market leader in Canada, the GENIE series of audiometric sound rooms is now being offered by Otometrics throughout the United States and is available exclusively at Audiology Systems.

Data Watch

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This study shows that, if the intended goal of a fitting is to provide the patient with the gain and output of a validated prescriptive method, such as the NAL-NL2, then the dispensing professional cannot rely on the manufacturer’s software version of this algorithm. Real-ear verification is necessary.
HR MauriceMiller
Maurice H. Miller argues that an audiologist's dedication to long-term involvement with the hearing-impaired patient in a rehabilitative structure is essential. Without it, our future is uncertain. With it, there is enormous hope for our profession.
A self-administered hearing test application could improve patient compliance by funneling self-motivated patients into the healthcare system already primed to succeed with amplification technology.
Self-financing a private practice may produce fast results, but our tax laws create a number of obstacles that must be overcome to avoid penalties and higher tax bills. This article presents options for consideration before pursuing self-funding.
Figure 2. Same HIA net unit hearing aid statistics with an estimate of Costco unit volume and resulting sales for US private sector.
According to statistics generated by the Hearing Industries Association (HIA), hearing aid unit sales in the United States grew by 4.76% in 2014—topping 3 million units for the first time in industry history. Hearing aid sales in the private sector increased by 3.4%, while the VA (which accounted for 21.6% of the US market) increased its units dispensed by 9.8%.