Hearing Healthcare Reform: Making Hearing Aids Affordable
Two Colorado women, Laura Smallen and Maureen Keene, are leading healthcare reform in the hearing aid industry through an innovative company called Hearing Care Solutions. Ms. Smallen and Ms. Keene believe hearing aids are simply too expensive and have designed a business to make them more affordable.
After working with hearing aid manufacturers, health plans and patients for more than 22 years, Ms. Smallen recognized the need for significant change. “It is time to press the reset button on the hearing aid industry. Health plan benefits are being cut and people have less disposable income in today’s economy, but the need does not go away. This is the area of healthcare that we understand and we want to bring about change. ”
In addition to making hearing aids more affordable for patients, Hearing Care Solutions enables health plans to offer a more valuable hearing aid benefit to their members. “By offering hearing aids at less than half the standard retail price, benefit dollars are effectively doubled. As a result, the health plan members we service perceive greater value from their plan,” according to Ms. Keene. “Plan members who do not have a hearing aid allowance also benefit from the tremendous savings offered by HCS.”
Studies show that only one in five people who would benefit from hearing aids actually uses them, and price and lack of information are cited as the primary barriers. HCS addresses both issues by offering name-brand, digital hearing aids at tremendous savings and by educating patients about technology and pricing prior to the initial appointment. “One element of our business that we are most proud of is our Patient Handbook,” says Ms. Smallen. “We believe patients should have the tools they need to make informed decisions about their hearing health.”
Those in need of hearing aids can contact Hearing Care Solutions at 1-866-344-7756 to find out if their health plan participates in the HCS program.
About Hearing Care Solutions
Hearing Care Solutions contracts with managed care plans to provide hearing care services and hearing aids to plan members at significant savings. Through a network of more than 2,000 hearing care providers throughout the U.S., HCS offers free hearing testing, discounted pricing on hearing aids and standardized service for plan members.