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Hearing Aid Dispensing Question?

Michael W. Ridenhour gandalf at infi.net
Tue Feb 13 18:48:58 EST 1996

George, I have found in my 25 years of practice, ten in a private setting, 
that we are, or maybe should be, helpers to people who wish to improve
their hearing. We are knowledgeable, honest, friendly, truly concerned
for our patients, and insufferably snobbish where the best interest of
the patient (according to our lights) is concerned. It might actually
be possible that this lady knows more about her hearing and her needs
than you or I. I stopped being the inflexible "expert" and began to be
an advocate and friend to my patients. Now they bring me pictures of
their grandkids, and their vacations, and listen to me because I have
to be persuaded by the patient that they need a new aid. My first response
is, "Are you sure you need that new-fangled wrinkle on an old theme?"
My next response is, "Why don't we have your old one refurbished. Maybe 
it'll last a few more months." My final response is, "Well, a new one
won't be cheap, but you certainly get the most out of your hearing aids."
My friends don't consider going somewhere else, and don't gripe when
they are handed the bill, either. They know they have been treated fairly.

Hope this helps!

Michael Ridenhour

George Cire <gcire at icsi.net> wrote:
> Lately I have been thinking about the many patients that I have come 
> across with hearing aids that are six, seven, eight and sometimes ten 
> years old that are still being used?  Just today a lady came in with a 
> hearing aid that I had repaired for her five years ago (She bought in in 
> Montana).  At that time, the aid was five years old and the manufactuer 
> was going to charge more that the standard flat rate charge and provide a 
> 90 day warranty.  We chose to use a "All-Make" lab and charge the regular 
> rate. She disappeared until today when she needed a Re-tube and an Ear 
> Hook replaced.  She desprately need a new earmold and an New Hearing 
> Aid!! which we discussed.  She told me that they were just too expensive 
> and that she would "Ride it till it died"  with no interest in even a new 
> earmold?  When I tried to sell her on the improvments of the newer 
> technology she just laughed and said, "Just Fix This One!"
> I would be interested in some discussion on the newsgroup about this 
> topic, as I see several different ways to react.  Some of my questions 
> center around what dispensers tell patients about the "Life" of 
> programables and CIC's where the patient may be paying in excess of $3000 
> for a binaural fitting.  I know I tell patients up front what the 
> national averages are and sometimes that "Kills the Sale"
> Hope someone has some comment and THANKS>
> George Cire, FAAA
> Victoria Regional Hearing Cneter
> Victoria, TX

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