Connections to Our Clients and Community…OUR WHY!
Do you know Elkhart Audiology has a Mission Statement? Officially it states: The staff at Elkhart Audiology Rehab will provide client focused products and services that maximize hearing abilities and reduce barriers to meaningful communication. Our short version is, we want YOU to Love your hearing! We achieve that goal by keeping you connected to the people and things in your community that are important to you.
Measuring how well you stay connected is part of the reason we have you complete functional listening assessments when you come back for your cleanings. If we can identify a new issue, solution or product that will help you love your hearing we will do our best to demonstrate the advantages. Continuous improvement is part of our staff culture and I’m fortunate to have a staff that also has a heart for service with a smile so we have a little fun along the way!
We have recently partnered with the Council on Aging for Elkhart in an effort to serve our clients with short term or even long-term transportation needs. If you have an appointment with us and need a ride, COA can pick you up and return you home providing door to door service. Their vehicles are all handicap accessible, and their drivers have been vetted for your safety. Give us a call if you need further details.
Artificial Intelligence In Hearing Devices
The hearing aid industry is not any different than the automotive, appliance or cell phone companies in their use of computers to make their products perform better, easier, or faster. An issue however for hearing devices is that they require much smaller parts and more efficient use of power. Sharing data with cell phone companies and the music industry has led to better options for fidelity, and better general noise reduction. Recent hearing aid performance upgrades have been the result of studying the everyday environmental sounds, noise classifications, differences between speech and music waves and how your brain makes sense of them. There has been a collaboration of neuroscientists, psychoacoustics, and years of research in order to create computer chips that process sound, compare them to what they “know” about those sounds and then make decisions about how to share those sounds with you. So interestingly, today, in some cases the computer chip will actually allow you to hear more sound rather than have it reduced by beam-forming or cancellation and yet you will still have an increase in speech understanding and environment awareness. Better speech clarity and less listening fatigue are the two main reasons our patients choose to upgrade their hearing aids even when their current set still functions. If you want to know what you are missing, give us a call for an in-office demonstration.
Insurance Policy Reminders and Updates
- We do not require a referral to complete a diagnostic hearing evaluation, however some insurances follow Medicare guidelines, and we will need a physician referral to bill insurance for a diagnostic test. Medicare does not cover hearing aid costs.
- Medicare replacement plans are administered by a third party that may offer a free hearing test or a discount for hearing aids. We follow a medical model and cannot offer free hearing aids to one person and charge another. There will always be a charge for billable audiology services in our office. Discounts for hearing aids may be available depending on the brand.
- TruHearing is one of the largest third-party administrators for hearing aids. As of April 1, 2021 we are no longer in-network due to a policy change on their part to move to an “un-limited” service plan model for 12-36 months without offering any additional re-imbursement to providers. We cannot run as a sustainable, reputable business under their model. We will continue to provide hearing aid cleaning services, programming adjustments for the original $35-$65 service call fee.
- If you are not sure if you have an insurance benefit for hearing aids, you can call the number on the back of your card to ask about coverage. We are also happy to call to verify coverage. If you are told you have a benefit, ask for the typical reimbursement and where you must go to use the benefit. We have found some plans have switched to on-line, mail-order or have the nearest provider an hour away. These methods cuts costs for the plan administrator but do not offer you patient centered care. You deserve ear canal inspection, real ear verification and in-person assistance!
- Hearing aids typically are a non-covered service for most insurances which is why we offer several payment options including: cash discount, 12 months same as cash, 24 months low fixed interest rate, and 48 month lease options with approved credit thru the Allegro or CareCredit programs.
We are dedicated to your hearing success. We pledge reasonable prices for services and products to keep you connected to the people and sounds you love!
What do you say? My cell phone is…
- a necessity
- a nuisance
- a favorite device
We have clients that fall into every category. Depending on where you fit will depend on our approach to help you enjoy conversations with your family and friends while using a phone. We have options for landline as well as cell phone styles that offer clarity, volume and even captions.
For smart phones there are apps to help you find a theater, airport, store or place of worship that has been looped to help you hear better at a distance or with a lot of background noise (Loop Finder). Or use an app to clarify speech as it prints/transcribes live speech so you can see what is being said (Live Transcribe).
If you want to hear better on the phone, let us know what category you fall into and we will be sure you get the best option as some hearing aid brands or styles work better with some types of phones or accessories.
Our office has the new, patented HearVu application on our I-pad. It allows us to bring your audiogram to life so your loved ones can hear what you are missing. Do you have someone you would like to better understand? Let us know before your next appointment and we will set aside some extra time to let them experience speech or music filtered by your audiogram. It is eye-opening.
In closing, we hope you do a little celebrating of your connections in May for Better Hearing and Speech Month… Sharon, Stefanie, Deb and Danielle