While the price itself seems exorbitant, the continued pace of growth is even worse. Over the past decade, the average price of a rear-ear hearing aid (BTE) has more than doubled. As a result of the current state of change, in which the readjustment and reorganization of an entire sector are taking place, consumers are likely to soon discover that high-end devices (and the services that usually accompany their prescriptions) may not go down and, in fact, history predicts that they will rise, but the prices of low-end prescription hearing aids are likely to fall. Like the Veterans Administration, which has similar purchasing power and a clientele of current and former service members whose two main health problems are hearing loss and tinnitus.
A teenager is learning about the genetic cause of her hearing loss and is spreading information to learn more. Frazier has volunteered with the HLAA and other entities at the local, state and national levels in their efforts to improve access to communication for people with hearing loss. We found that using neural responses to sound to deduce how well hearing aids, a common first form of intervention, provide access to speech is similar in children to what happens in adults. I found that the prices for the exact same pair of headphones can vary dramatically depending on where the buyer is looking.
Let's go back to hearing aids, which, as noted above, usually cost thousands of dollars, a cost that most people with hearing problems bear directly because most insurers don't cover them. Trained by the HLAA as a specialist in support of hearing loss, Stephen O. David Lazarus, editor of the magazine Hearing Health and based in New Mexico, business columnist for the Los Angeles Times, writes that hearing aid prices are “an example of how manufacturers exploit a captive market with excessively high list prices.” The report noted that “innovation has not reduced costs and that almost half of people aged 60 and over have hearing loss. The most important factor for current hearing aid price levels has to do with the underlying industrial structure.
PSAPs are not approved as medical devices by the Food and Drug Administration and therefore cannot be marketed as hearing aids. Their actual profit margin for hearing aids is unknown, but for other products, Costco reportedly accounts for about 15 percent. Time will tell if the new FDA guidelines will increase treatment using self-adjusting hearing aids purchased at Walmart or Walgreens and whether, as reported by The New York Times, the category of over-the-counter products will stimulate innovation by driving down prices, as the FDA believes. Another problem, he adds, is the lack of transparency, including the transparency of the cost of producing hearing aids compared to the cost for distributors.