Providers play a crucial role in their patients' hearing health journey. In fact, in a national survey of consumers with and without Amplifon hearing benefits, respondents ranked their hearing care providers as highly influential in selecting hearing aid brands. It's essential to recognize that hearing aid selection is a collaborative process between member and provider.
However, when providers are required to fit a member with a specific brand of hearing aids instead of finding the best option for each individual, it hinders their ability to provide optimal care.
Furthermore, if providers' hearing aid choices are limited, and they are unable to fit members with a lower-cost hearing aid option, patients may be burdened by out-of-pocket expenses, negatively impacting their experience and member-provider relationship.
This not only results in a mismatch of members and hearing aid brands, but it also results in members not wearing their hearing aids every day or never wearing those prescribed by their provider.
When hearing aids end up in a drawer, they do not benefit the member or provide value to the health plan. Additionally, untreated hearing loss can increase the risk of significant and costly health issues, such as depression, dementia, and falls that cause injuries.
Hearing loss also leads to social isolation and loneliness.