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Hearing Loss Impacts Healthcare Costs

Sunday, July 15, 2018 11:20:10 AM Australia/Melbourne

Hearing Loss Impacts Healthcare CostsAs if you didn’t need an incentive, hearing aids may be providing even more benefits than you realize. Here at Hearlink, we’re all about touting the benefits of hearing aids and preventative measures to save your ears. They’re far more extensive than you realize and extend far beyond your ears. Part of our mission to support this is the products and services that we offer as a team. Another part is this blog. This blog, for those unfamiliar, can serve as your one-stop-shop to learn about the easiest ways to take care of your health. We share tips and tricks. We share specials that Hearlink is offering and we share industry-wide knowledge. We strongly believe that when we equip you with the right information, you’re able to make the best decisions for you.

 

Today, we’re diving into one of the aforementioned benefits. It really should come as no surprise that when you invest in the right hearing aids, your healthcare costs can go way down. A study published in April leveraged data to look at the use of hearing aids across a group of almost 1,500 adults. All were at least aged 65 and had self-reported hearing loss at some point. The group was a pretty even split when it came to using hearing aids versus not – more than 600 used them but more than 700 didn’t. The key variable that the study analysed was the amount that each group was spending on healthcare, as well as the number of times that they needed to visit the doctor or emergency room.

 

Here’s where things get interesting. Whenever a study member used hearing aids, they went to the hospital 2% less. That might not seem like a lot but can rack up if you think about the number of times that the other group needed to visit a doctor. That equates to a 1.4-day increase that they went to doctors and .46-nights in a hospital environment. Looking at dollar amounts, those that used hearing aids actually increased their spend on healthcare more than a thousand dollars and out of pocket costs almost five hundred dollars. Where did they see a decrease? Hearing aids dropped Medicare spending almost a hundred dollars.

 

The trade-off is really dollars versus time spent at the doctors, but those costs can rack up as well. According to this study, 98% of those with hearing aids visited a doctor’s office once during the course of the year, whereas those without hearing aids had on average at least two more visits annually.

 

As the corresponding author on the study, Elham Mahmoudi, Ph.D, says, “their main finding was that while using hearing aids reduces the likelihood of emergency room visits and hospitalization, it also increases overall health care costs for users.”

 

The one caveat Mahmoudi shares is that the study didn’t look at the specific types of emergency room visits, so she calls this study a “snapshot” of healthcare services.

 

More to come on this exciting topic. Bottom line? Hearlink always recommends taking advantage of the tools and technologies available to us, to maximize the health of your ears.

Posted in Industry News By

Hearlink Admin