How Much Does That Cost? Transparency in Hearing Healthcare

I fly quite a bit in a year, partially for family events, some for business.  Most of my flights are on Southwest Airlines.  The “normal” seats are larger and more comfortable, the flight attendants are friendlier, and the tickets are usually cheaper.  With a busy schedule, plans often change and tickets need to be cancelled, rebooked, and altered sometimes more than once.  Their unique pricing model allows for these cancellations, additions, and changes to be easily completed.  In fact, Southwest has coined a new word for their unique business model: “transfarency.” 

This year, transparency has been getting a lot of public attention.  Beginning this month, hospitals are required to post the cost of procedures online.  While patients may not always know what procedures are needed, or what procedures need to be completed with another procedure for the desired outcome, the posting of cost is a bold requirement.  Some consumers, including myself, may research the cost of a procedure, after reviewing Medicare data about outcomes to find, what I believe, is the best provider for my situation.

Designer Audiology was founded and operates on both a unique and transparent business model that is uncommon in audiology.  The government publishes public data about what every audiologist bills to Medicare. That data shows that Dr. Spoor only completes procedures that are medically necessary, not a slew of unnecessary procedures in order to get a higher reimbursement. The results are healthcare costs for only what is essential for treatment.  Additionally, Designer Audiology has been transparent since opening almost three years ago.  The unique itemized, or unbundled, pricing structure outlines the cost of each procedure and separates the cost of the provider’s care from product.  This is most evident with the cost of hearing aids.  This is a new year, and like Southwest Airlines and hospitals, our entire itemized list of services and prices is now available online.  Now, everyone – physicians, patients, insurance contractors – can see the cost of each diagnostic and treatment procedure, allowing our patients to make the best choice for his or her hearing healthcare needs.

Happy Transparent New Year!