The MedPB team was on the road in Orlando last week at OticonNext. After a long hiatus from conferences and in-person events, we were thrilled to spend some time with our favorite audiologists and Oticon reps. The sunshine didn’t hurt, either.
Third-Party Reimbursements are a Hot Topic
At MedPB, we help audiology practices grow, which means we really love understanding what is happening in their practices that can slow down their growth. Over and over again, we heard our audiologist clients tell us that third-party reimbursements have changed after COVID-19 and they are really cutting into their revenue. A third-party appointment only generates about 50% of the revenue that a retail appointment can generate. We know that audiologists everywhere want to help people hear better, but they also want to grow their businesses. So how do they navigate third-party payments without shrinking their bank accounts?
How to Help Third-Party Reimbursement Work for You
Third-party reimbursement is a good thing for everyone. We think it’s amazing that insurance companies want to help their clients hear better. It’s also great for audiology practices, as long as owners know how to balance third-party appointments.
The easiest way to do this is to set aside one day per week for third-party reimbursement appointments only. That way your schedule is never full of these appointments, but you have space to accommodate them. If two days out, the third-party appointments are not all booked, you can book private pay clients in that space. This limits the number of third-party patients you will see, which will keep your average revenue per appointment up.
Another good thing that third-party payments do is introduce hearing aids to people who might not otherwise ever get them. The models that are available for reimbursement are not the latest and greatest, but they’re more affordable for more people. In some cases, people who would never seek out hearing aids because of the cost will get these third-party models, and then realize they really love and need hearing aids. Once they become a fan of hearing aids, they are more likely to make an investment in better technology because they bring so much additional value to their lives. Embracing third-party reimbursement will open up a larger group of potential patients, who you can then gently upsell to a better model.
Technology is Always Changing, Which is Kinda Great
One thing we really love about the audiology industry is that there’s always amazing new technology coming out. AI and machine learning have been hot topics in the tech industry lately, and we were thrilled to see this technology be applied to helping more people enjoy the gift of hearing.
At OticonNext, we got to see the new Oticon Real hearing aids and they are impressive! One of our favorite features is the OpenSound Navigator, which uses advanced algorithms to analyze sounds in the environment and provide users with a more balanced and natural listening experience. This technology allows users to hear sounds from all around them, while still maintaining clarity and reducing background noise, which is a big deal to hearing aid wearers. Oticon Real also has Personalized Sound technology that uses AI to learn the wearer’s preferred sound settings and adjusts them automatically based on their listening environment. This means that the wearer is always receiving the optimal sound quality, no matter where they are. So cool!
Better Technology Means More Patients
With each release of new hearing aid technology, especially big advancements like Oticon Real, we see that as an opportunity for audiologists to sell more hearing aids! Any of your early adopter patients will want to know about Oticon Real and all the amazing things it can do that no other hearing aid on the market can do. Even patients who might have been in existing third-party hearing aids for a while will want to know about these new advancements because now that they have experienced how hearing aids can really help them, they may be more likely to want to pay out of pocket for the newest technology.
If you want to know more about how you can leverage new technology to grow your audiology practice, or you want some tips on how best to use your Oticon Co-op money, give us a call!