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Hearing aid prices

David Barnkow barnkow at wsu.edu
Thu Jan 14 16:13:31 EST 1999

Let me make a couple of observations.

An orthodontist only puts a couple dollars worth of metal in your month.
Are they "sharks" as well?  A computer programmer fixed my computer with
only a couple of keystrokes, is he a "shark"?  I received good benefit
versus the cost for these services.

Hearing aid purchase should be evaluated in terms of its benefit versus its
cost for both goods and services.  Let's take Larry's hearing aids as an
example.  Hearing aids have an average useful life of about five years.  He
has three pair, which represents 15 years worth of useful life.  Let's
assume he purchased all of them today for $1200 ea. (an average price for a
good conventional behing-the-ear instrument)or $7200 total.  Now divide the
$7200 by 5475 days (15 years) and he arrives at $1.31/day.  His hearing
cost him $1.31 cents a day.  Did he receive an adequate benefit for that cost?

Lastly, you might ask, "What makes me, as a hearing aid dispenser, worth
the  money?"  Well, I'm good at what I do.  My patients thank me at regular
intervals for restoring the ability to communicate successfully.  I didn't
arrive at that knowledge by some mystical "laying on of hands".  I deferred
my productive money-earning career for 6 years while I earned my masters
degree as an audiologist.  I'm enrolling in a doctoral program for two more
years as we speak.  That is eight years of schooling after high school.  I
have been in the profession now for 13 years.  I think it is reasonable for
me to expect a financial return on my educational investment.  If you are
not satisfied with your hearing aids and you do not see them as a good
value, maybe you, as the purchaser/wearer, are at fault.  Maybe you should
research the hearing aid dispensers in you area and find someone like me.

David Barnkow, 
Master of Arts in Audiology,
ASHA Certified Clinically Competent (CCC-A)
Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (FAAA)

At 09:51 PM 1/12/99 -0800, you wrote:
>    It just amazes me how much money people will pay to these "sharks"
>a.k.a. hearing aid dispensors. for an electronic device that has, maybe
>$100 worth of electronic hardware in them.  Is it the desperation and
>loneliness from hearing loss that does this to us?  I have three sets of
>the Widex F5 that I still use.  Yea, they are not state of the art and I
>have found that I have to canablize the older set to keep parts
>available for the newer one.  What I'm going to do when they are no
>longer repairable is a concern to me.  I don't like the idea of being
>forced into paying the kind of money that the hearing aid scalpers want
>Scot Giles wrote:
>> They seem high to me.  My Widex Senso CICs were $3K each.
>> Scot

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