In April 2014, just prior to the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) Convention in Orlando, The Hearing Review hosted a “State of the Industry” dinner sponsored by CareCredit that drew more than 100 distinguished audiologists and industry experts together to see presentations on four important topics that are central to private practice hearing care. The short talks were given by Hearing Review Editor-in-chief Karl Strom, Amyn Amlani of the University of North Texas-Denton, Brian Taylor of Unitron, and Dan Quall of Starkey Hearing Technologies.

The last two editions of The Insider featured Karl Strom’s summary of the 2014 Hearing Review Dispenser Survey and Amyn Amlani’s overview of his research that involves the inelasticity of pricing in hearing healthcare, the advantages of unbundling the prices of products and services, and how smartphone amplification applications and devices for use as starter hearing aids may reduce the adoption time for consumers who ultimately purchase a hearing aid.

In this installment, Part 3, Brian Taylor, AuD, of Unitron looks at the unmet needs of individuals with hearing impairment, citing changes in many businesses—as well as economist Joseph Schumpeter’s quote, “All established businesses are standing on ground that is crumbling beneath their feet.” As disruptive technology moves into our industry, says Taylor, it becomes increasingly important to form deep, long-lasting relationships with your community, physicians, and patients through education in what he has characterizes as “interventional audiology”: the link between hearing health care and physical, mental, economic, and social status.  No longer should the dispensing professional view him/herself as a “lone cowboy” on the sometimes-isolated plains of the healthcare; instead, they should view themselves as a vital member of a larger team that keeps patients engaged and communicating with the patients’ general health team, says Dr Taylor. Presentation length: 11:01.

Moving forward, we’ll also offer the last presentation in this series along with the event’s question and answer session:

Part 4: Dan Quall, MS, of Starkey Hearing Technologies provides a comparison of the fields of audiology, optometry, and dentistry—demonstrating a vital need for hearing healthcare to retain its tradition of independent private practices. He says that dentistry is unique because it has increased its professional standing and its average income. Why? 93% of dentists worked in private practice in 2011. Optometry, on the other hand, has seen its average income fall precipitously, as only 10% now earn their living entirely through private practice ownership. Quall also details a number of key performance indicator (KPI) benchmarks—with a particular eye on total expenses (marketing, labor, office overhead, and general expenses), gross margin, and income before taxes (IBT). To be featured in the September 11 edition of The Insider (22.38 min).

Part 5: Q&A, Comments and Discussion. The audience provides their feedback, including comments from David Fabry, Kim Cavitt, Scot Frink, Edward Aleo, and Roy Sullivan.  To be featured in the September 18 edition of The Insider (11:42 min).

Image caption: (Left to right) Presenters and sponsors of the CareCredit/Hearing Review “State of the Industry” dinner in Orlando included Amyn Amlani, PhD, of the University of North Texas; HR’s editor Karl Strom and publisher Dana Fisher; Dan Quall, MS, of Starkey Hearing Technologies; Brian Taylor, AuD, of Unitron; and Amber Jacquez of CareCredit.