Why don't Audiologists Charge for Their Services Like Other Professions?

Giganews Newsgroups
Subject: Why don't Audiologists Charge for Their Services Like Other Professions?
Posted by:  Ken (kkerris…@ozemail.com.au)
Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2008

The America Hears thread has, thanks to me, branched off into
discussion as to why audiologists act like dispensers (or car
salesmen, for that matter) in hiding the cost of their professional
services in the cost of hearing aids. So I am starting a new thread

My remarks were not directed at Michael personally - he simply follows
the same marketing model as many others in his profession (in
Australia, also, incidentally).

If audiologists charged on a time basis - so much for diagnosis, so
much for fitting, so much for any follow up visits, and charged for
hearing aids and other hardware, with an appropriate mark-up, I
believe everyone would be better off.

People would not be under the illusion that hearing aid cost $3k when
they cost half this or less. They would be clear on the hardware
component of what they pay.

And I am confident that they would not be put off by the cost of the
audiologist's services - we are all used to doctor's/lawyer's/
servicemen bills. Good people don't come cheap. You get what you pay
for. And most of us like to know what we are paying.

More importantly, I have no doubt that many (most?) people hesitate to
go back for adjustments, under the usual marketing system, because
they feel they are taking up the time of the audiologist for no
payment (and there have been a number of posts by people who found
their audiologist (or dispenser) becoming visibly impatient about

Michael implied that economics underlay the practice. I can assure him
that economic theory points in the opposite direction. A perfect
market requires full information. Any deviation from that means
distorts the relationship between buyer and seller. There is no way
that apparent inflation of the cost of hearing aids can increase sales
- either of hearing aids or of audiological services.

From some posts to the group, it appears that there are growing
numbers of audiologists out there who will work, like doctors, on a
fee-for-service basis. This may, in part, be a response to the America
Hears/on-line dispensing phenomenon.

This on-line dispensing thing would probably not exist if audiologists
charged for their services like doctors, rather than like dispensers/
car salesmen. An audiologist should look in the mirror and ask
himself: 'Am I selling hearing aids or my skills in helping people
with hearing problems?'.

The fact is that few hearing-impaired people see any difference
between dispensers and audiologists. Both appear to be engaged in
selling hearing aids.

Audiologists are not supposed to be hearing aid salesmen. We engage
their services to help us with our hearing problems.