Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between an audiologist and a hearing instrument specialist?
Hearing Aid Dealers are limited to testing hearing solely for the purposes of fitting hearing aids. Unlike Audiologists, they may not engage in, nor are they trained to complete diagnostic hearing or balance examinations nor participate in the assessment of patients with tinnitus. Audiologists are uniquely qualified and trained to identify a wide variety of pathology and underlying medical conditions of the hearing and balance systems and to refer these cases for appropriate medical or surgical treatment.
Not only is the scope of practice different, but the training is vastly different as well. To become an audiologist requires eight years of college and completion of a fellowship year. To be more specific, the requirements for Audiologistsinclude:
- Master’s or Doctoral degree in Audiology
- Minimum of 350 hours of patient care hours obtained in an accredited college or university, in a cooperating program of an accredited college or university, or in another program approved by the board.
- He/she submits to the board evidence that he has passed the examination for licensure to practice
- Have successfully completed a minimum of two thousand clock hours of clinical extern experience in the fourth year of academic training supervised by preceptor
The requirements for License as a Hearing Aid Dealer includes (as written in the Ohio Revised Code):
- 18 years old
- good moral character
- free of contagious or infectious disease
- High School diploma or equivalent education (GED)
- pass qualifying examination specified and administered by board.
The credentials behind the name of the hearing healthcare provider will indicate whether that person is an audiologist or a hearing aid dealer. Audiologists will list the following; MA, MS, PhD, AuD and the word Audiologist after their name. Hearing aid dealers might list HIS which stands for hearing instrument specialist.
How much do hearing aids cost?
Hearing aids start at $1340 per instrument. Most people need two. The price includes not only the hearing device, but also the follow up appointments and services. All digital hearing aids require programming. We include the initial programming, as well as all follow up programming in your price. If your hearing changes, the settings of the hearing aid can also be modified. Hearing aids also require routine cleanings and maintenance. You can expect to have your instruments professionally serviced every 6 months. Cleanings and adjustments are also included in our prices.
Are hearing aids covered under my insurance plan?
The only way to properly determine if hearing aids are a covered benefit is to contact your insurance carrier. Unfortunately, most insurance plans do not cover hearing instruments. Medicare does not pay for hearing aids.
If I purchase my hearing aids online (over the internet) can I come to you for adjustments or cleanings?
At the present time we are only servicing hearing instruments that were purchased at or office. Fitting hearing aids is a start to finish job. It begins with a consultation, includes an examination, a needs analysis, a recommendation and follow up adjustments. In some cases the hearing instruments were poorly selected and would not have been recommended by Dr. Krukemyer in the first place. Rather than spin wheels to try and make the competition’s devices sound acceptable, time is better spent working with those who support the mission of Portage Valley Hearing.