In today’s shifting health marketplace, it’s difficult to know how many other out-of-pocket expenses your clients are dealing with when they walk into your office. Healthcare costs fluctuate on an ever-shifting balance sheet, at times, unpredictably. If your patient has other medical needs, hearing devices may fall into the category of “unnecessary expense.”
That’s where a financing option like CareCredit can help. As a hearing care practitioner partnering with CareCredit, your patients will have the option to pay off their treatment plan in easy, monthly installments. Easing your patient’s financial stress will help strengthen your practice’s client base. But don’t take our word for it.
4MyHearingBiz went to the source to find out how CareCredit has benefited hearing care practitioners, as well as their patients.
This week we talked to Laurie DeWine, AuD, CCC-A, of The Place for Better Hearing in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has worked as an audiologist for 38 years, performing diagnostic evaluations and testing for Ear, Nose, and Throat doctors as well as managing a hearing center, before opening her own practice in 2004. Laurie also founded the Northern Kentucky Group of Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, and has worked to educate the community about the Americans with Disabilities Act, tinnitus, hearing aids, and other issues related to hearing loss.
4MyHearingBiz: Have you adapted or changed any of your tactics or strategies in the last 5-10 years in response to the competitive landscape? (eg, To better suit clientele, offerings, pricing, marketing, etc…)
Laurie DeWine: We’ve beefed up our digital footprint. We updated our website, use patient testimonials, and offer in-house patient seminars with information about hearing health and cognitive health.
We attend health fairs; speak at Life Learn Seminars; go into elementary schools to teach about noise-induced hearing loss (“Dangerous Decibels”); joined business networking groups and use taglines in our advertising: “For better hearing in a size and shape that fits your needs, call (513) 922-0123.” Our practice submits press releases to the local newspapers and does a monthly Q&A format ad in the local community newspaper; we promote our two Doctors of Audiology as experts.
4MyHearingBiz: How do you view patient financing as a tool/service in a hearing care practice?
DeWine: Lots of people are on fixed incomes and making monthly payments is easier on their budgets.
4MyHearingBiz: When and how do you let your patients know about payment options?
DeWine: My part-time audiologist and I offer it when we quote prices of hearing aids.
4MyHearingBiz: Do you ever insert patient financing into marketing or have your receptionist mention it to people when they call in?
DeWine: Of course. People who know about CareCredit will see it in advertising and take advantage of it. My staff is awesome; they know to offer financing.
4MyHearingBiz: Who are the most likely patients to use financing? Can you give any examples of typical and atypical users of CareCredit?
DeWine: There’s no one type of person who uses financing. Some have the cash in the bank, but they do not want to take it out. Others could not purchase hearing aids unless they can make payments.
4MyHearingBiz: What has CareCredit done for your patients and your business?
DeWine: Patient financing with CareCredit has allowed our patients to purchase hearing aids with higher levels of technology and more noise reduction. The speech in noise features help our hearing aid patients feel more satisfied with their hearing aid purchases, and that increases their referrals to friends and family members so our business grows.
The Q&A was provided to the 4MyHearingBiz community by CareCredit, The Hearing Review, and contributors from the hearing healthcare industry who share their opinions and perspectives with our community.
Portions of this Q&A interview may have been edited for clarity or length.
Images: Courtesy of CareCredit, The Place for Better Hearing