– In this video I'm talking about why I had to leave TruHearing coming up.
(upbeat music) Hi guys, Cliff Olson, Doctor of Audiology, and founder of Applied HearingSolutions in Anthem, Arizona.
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About a year ago I decided to become an in-network hearing aidprovider for TruHearing.
TruHearing is essentiallya managed care organization that acts as a middlemanbetween the hearing aid manufacturer and a hearing care provider.
Insurance companies contractwith these managed care organizations because ithelps them control costs of hearing aids and hearingaid-related services to save the insurance company money.
In order for somepatients to be able to use their insurance inside of my clinic, if their insurance companycontracted through TruHearing, then I had to become an in-network provider for TruHearing.
Becoming a provider was super simple.
Basically just had to belicensed inside of my state.
I had to have liability insurance, and then I had to answer afew disclosure questions.
Ultimately working with TruHearing from a provider perspectivewas pretty easy.
They had some decentoptions for hearing aids.
They had a really neat online portal that I could go on to to actually order those devices and process payments.
And the staff that work atTruHearing were actually really nice and very helpfulin terms of getting insurance benefits verified andgetting patients scheduled.
The only problem that Ireally had with TruHearing is that I couldn't affordto service those patients because my clinic would lose money every single time apatient came in the door.
How it works is thatTruHearing will collect payment from either the patient,the insurance company, or a combination of the two.
Once they actually pay and they go through their fitting processwith their hearing aids, the hearing care providergets paid a fitting fee.
The amount that TruHearing pays a clinic depends on the level of technology that that provider fits to that patient.
So if a patient only requiresa low level of technology, then TruHearing will onlyissue a very small fitting fee.
These fitting fees aren't enough to cover the clinic expenses.
Additionally, providers ofTruHearing are contractually obligated to charge a max of$65 for a follow-up visit, or a max of $250 foran annual service plan.
Anything additional tothis would be considered a violation of the TruHearing agreement.
Now, from a patient perspectivethat may seem great.
But from a clinicianperspective if I can't actually charge what it costs to run my clinic my clinic is either goingto go out of business, or I'm gonna have tosacrifice my quality of care by dramatically reducingthe amount of time that I spend with a TruHearing patient.
You see, quality of careboils down to two main things.
Number one is that I haveto be able to recommend the right treatmentfor a patient based off of their specific needs.
But the second part of thatis is that I have to be able to provide the veryspecific services necessary to maximize the performanceof those devices, both at the fitting and forall of those follow up visits.
Now, if I don't have theamount of time necessary to administer those proper procedures, then you're not going to be getting the highest level of care.
Now, I would love to chargepatients really low fees for the services that I provide.
But the simple fact of the matter is is that the cost to run a clinic, both from the rent standpoint,the staffing standpoint, utilities, and equipment costs, all of these different things cost money.
And it is not cheap to run a clinic.
And so I can't chargereally, really low fees without running risk ofgoing out of business.
It just can't be done.
Basically every time a TruHearing patient came through my doors myclinic would be losing money.
Now, I could have chargeda $250 annual service plan, and then restricted the amount of times that a patient came in to my clinic.
And then every single time they came in I could not do the procedures necessary to maximize their performancewith those devices.
But I'm not comfortable withreducing quality of care.
If there's one thing that I refuse to do it is to reduce my quality of care in order to maximize profit.
Ultimately, I had tomake a tough decision.
And that tough decisionwas to leave TruHearing.
Now, I don't make this video to try to make you feel sorry for me.
I'm not making this video to say anything negative about TruHearing.
In fact, if you can find agood hearing care provider who works with TruHearingthen kudos to you.
I just couldn't afford to be one of them.
That's it for this video.
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I'll see you next time.