Attendees of the AudiologyNOW! 2016 Convention in Phoenix, Ariz, enjoyed a special event hosted by The Hearing Review and brought to attendees courtesy of CareCredit on April 13 at the Phoenix Convention Center. Titled “Aligning Pricing and Services with the Patient Path to Purchase,” the event highlighted the factors involved in a patient’s journey to purchasing hearing aids.
Randy Baldwin, VP of Hearing and Vision at CareCredit, presented information on business solutions the company offers to help practice owners guide patients toward deferred payment options that improve access to hearing aids. Baldwin fielded several questions from practice owners in the audience, with help from his CareCredit colleague Matt Boehler, before Hearing Review Chief Editor Karl Strom took the podium to present data from a new hearing aid pricing survey.
After fielding a few questions about pricing and technology, Strom moderated a panel discussion that addressed how the patient journey is constantly changing in the hearing healthcare industry, which creates challenges for hearing practice owners.
Attendees heard from motivational speaker Bernie Stoltz, hearing healthcare expert Wayne Staab, PhD, dental practice owner Howard Ong, DDS, and hearing aid center audiologist Sugata Bhattacharjee, AuD, CCC-A. The panel of experts addressed the impacts of technology on pricing and affordability of hearing aids, and how hearing care professionals are more challenged than ever to accommodate an evolving consumer-driven purchasing environment. The discussion included best practices, business development, and how to take advantage of the sweeping changes taking place in hearing care and other healthcare industries, including dentistry.
A key finding of CareCredit’s Path 2 Purchase Study was that 50% of patients that were followed in the study had gone online to research treatments, products, costs, and doctors. They used the Internet to seek information via medical advice websites, provider websites, and websites that review doctors. Bernie Stoltz presented some tips and best practices for using the Internet to attract new patients, how a provider website should look, and why its so important for hearing care providers and doctors in other healthcare industries to proactively manage their online reputation.
Dr Ong, who runs a successful dentistry practice, shared with the audience some best practices on delivering an exceptional patient experience with tips that he believes will cross over to audiology. He discussed why the patient experience is so important, and how it impacts the patient’s desire to accept recommended care.
Dr Staab, who was a practicing audiologist for many years, discussed how important pricing, value and payment solutions are to patients – especially those who may be on a fixed income. He addressed the issues around patients who delay care because they have to save to make the purchase or sacrifice other needs to get hearing healthcare. Dr Staab discussed best practices when it comes to pricing, opening the financial conversation with patients, and how to communicate value so patients understand prices and what deferred payment solutions offer.
Dr Bhattacharjee elaborated on several points raised by Dr Staab, and discussed how to create advocates out of customers. He shared some of the best practices he has developed to successfully turn patients into advocates and proactively generate new patient referrals.
At the close of a lively discussion, attendees and presenters mingled over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres to further discuss pricing methodologies that are being used successfully within hearing care, and practice management techniques that translate well from dentistry and other industries to audiology.
CareCredit and The Hearing Review thank Williams Sound for providing technical assistance for the hearing-impaired attendees in the symposium audience.