Selecting the Pinnacle of Hearing Health: Finding Your Ideal Hearing Care Professional

Why is that important? Wouldn’t you get a “better deal” from one barely getting the light bill paid? Maybe. But an over eager hearing aid widget pusher might be seeing needs that are more urgent than they really are.

Visit our website www.excellenceinaudiology.org to select a highly successful hearing healthcare practitioner.

What are some good clues to select a great hearing healthcare practitioner?

We have got two: One, she/he is busy. Two, her/his practice is busy. We assure you, the ability of advertising to attract patients is limited and it is expensive. When you see a really, really, busy practice there are probably a whole lot of patient referrals. Let’s face it—nobody enthusiastically refers if they feel they were lied to or treated badly, sold something they did not need, and put their prescription technology in their underwear draw. And they probably wouldn’t come to that practice if they had to keep coming back to ‘fix a few things’ or were overcharged. People only tell other people about their great experiences when they have their trust earned and when they have a truly unique experience.

We keep our offices very busy. Yes, we do some marketing. But mostly, our practices thrive on patient referrals. Not that we would anyway, but we do not need to wrangle you into more expensive care than you need to get the best outcome. We do not need to “sell” four more sets of hearing aid widgets this month to win a cruise from the manufacturer—and yes, that stuff goes on in some practices! There’s an old cartoon from The Wall Street Journal with a bunch of executives in a boardroom at a conference table, one hollering, “Ethics? Ethics? We can’t afford ethics!”

We build businesses on ethics and earned trust. And you do not just need a doctor to sell you some widget; you need an honest, trusted advisor.

The other clue: a great hearing healthcare specialist is not cheap. Our fees are calculated to allow for “Cadillac + Care” in every respect, to put no downward financial pressure on how we care for patients, and to never compromise a patient’s care. We never settle for “this is probably good enough.”

If we were you, we would worry if we could find a specialist that is a lot cheaper anywhere else. If you do find one, know this: behind closed doors they are probably asking, “can we do this cheaper?”. Is that the question you want discussed by your care team at every step of your treatment process?

There is both a science and art to this. Our specialists and staff are all highly trained to produce state-of-the-art outcomes, nothing less. The specialist truly makes a difference. That is why we tell everybody to get a highly successful hearing healthcare specialist.

The Top Ten Things You Should know Before Choosing a Hearing Healthcare Specialist.

This is something you want to be sure about. We have just suggested one big consideration: a highly successful practice. Here are ten more:

  1. Are they specialists?
    • Tools have never created the skill. They’re simply a conduit teamed with education, talent, experience, and knowledge. Audiology tools have never made the audiologist, but when the best tools are in the hands of the best specialists, magic happens.
    • All hearing specialists should be licensed by the state in which they practice, but not all hearing specialists have taken the next step to become members of the Excellence In Audiology™ network. This organization of hearing health care specialists have both the state-of-the-art tools and proven knowledge to do more than sell you a traditional hearing aid—their comprehensive hearing and cognitive treatment programs improve your hearing and cognitive function so you can maintain your independence longer—that independence is priceless!
    • To be a part of this network, a hearing healthcare specialist must be thoroughly trained and tested to demonstrate their knowledge of the auditory system, clinical skills, and judgment. In addition to finding a local Excellence In Audiology™ specialist, you might consider a specialist who understands the hearing and brain connection as ‘treating hearing loss’ was recently named the single most modifiable risk factor for the prevention of the mind-robbing disease of dementia.
    • Signs of a specialist:
      • Excellence In Audiology Member
      • Certified Dementia Practitioner
      • Incorporates cognitive screenings into testing protocols.
      • Offers comprehensive hearing and cognitive treatment programs, not just traditional hearing aids.
      • Treatment programs include ongoing brain training.
      • Includes exercises.
      • Treatment technology is updated over time, without additional fees!
  2. Do they have a medical office (or a sales office)?
    • For years, the profession of audiology has received a bad reputation for its focus on the sale of traditional hearing aids by former used-car salesmen. In the audiology world it is not hard to open a shop on a shoestring budget and call yourself a ‘hearing aid specialist’.
    • When determining your family’s next hearing healthcare specialist, we recommend you understand the treatment philosophy and purpose of the founder or specialist. Take the time to research his/her office, treatment team, website, location, and online testimonials and reviews. During your research, be on the lookout for a stand-alone location or a medical setting that was founded many years ago and has helped thousands of individuals in your community.
    • Medical-based offices will focus on the signs and symptoms of hearing loss and tinnitus, the detrimental impact of untreated and undertreated health conditions. You will notice that medical-based offices include many free reports, books, videos, and educational opportunities to learn more about you or a loved ones’ condition. Remember, the educated patient is the best patient.
    • Sales-based offices will focus on the makes, models, and prices of their traditional hearing aid technologies. We often refer to these providers and offices as ‘widget salesmen’. Be on the lookout for words like ‘FREE Test-Drive’, ‘FREE Demo’, or ‘Try Before You Buy’ which will be on their sales materials and advertising. Remember, free is just another word for ‘has no value’.
  3. Do they think brain health first?
    • It might seem strange and go against everything you were taught in pre-school, but we don’t ‘hear’ with our ears. The ears are just a receptor of sound, which is then transferred to our auditory nerve, and finally into our brain where the speech understanding and cognitive process of deciphering sounds into words takes place. Dr. Keith Darrow, a neuroscientist who has worked in the lab for over a decade and seen up close how the system works, says that this comes naturally to him, but to many hearing specialists without formal training or membership in a community like the Excellence in Audiology network, it is often overlooked.
    • While words like dementia, cognitive decline, cognitive overload, progressive degenerative disorders, and auditory system damage might seem scary, rest assured a hearing specialist and his/her team who thinks ‘Brain Health First’ will undoubtedly be using these words when discussing your hearing and tinnitus symptoms with you. If your specialist is not using these words or is focused on things like lifestyle charts, Bluetooth, rechargeable batteries, and TV adapters, you will know they are thinking ‘hearing aids first’ and not ‘Brain Health First’.
    • Finding a local specialist who thinks ‘Brain Health First’ will make sure you and/or your loved one is not only improving your hearing, but also doing everything possible to re-duce the increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia associated with hearing loss and auditory system damage. Treatment options from a ‘Brain Health First’ specialist will include the most modern hearing technology (sometimes called NeuroTechnology™) designed with the cognitive (brain) aspects of hearing loss in mind, including restoring the ability to hear in noise, filtering out background sounds, and boosting the soft-speech details needed to understand those around you.
      • Questions to ask:
        • What cognitive screening protocols do you use in your office?
          • Answers should include: “Cognivue,” “Word Recognition Testing,” and “Speech in Noise Testing.”
        • Does your treatment plan include new treatment technology?
          • Answers should include: Our treatment plans only include new treatment technology (or NeuroTechnology™ . . . and never ‘traditional hearing aids’.
  4. Do they provide pre-appointment education?
    • Most traditional hearing aid sales offices will be in a hurry to get you right in for a “FREE Hearing Test”. This is so they have the first chance to ‘sell’ you on their traditional hearing aid.
    • Our recommendation is to find a medical-based office with a hearing healthcare specialist who goes out of their way to provide you with pre-appointment education to help you and your family make the best decision on this major medical decision.
    • Some items we recommend requesting prior to your appointment:
      • 7- to 14-day delay before your appointment to review all materials sent to you
      • a book or publication by the practice owner or founder
      • any online presentations or educational materials available
      • a detailed account of what is included in their comprehensive treatment program
      • the cost of their all-inclusive monthly treatment plan
      • what to expect during your first appointment
    • It won’t take you long to differentiate which office is focused on providing you with education and conversation as opposed to looking to get you in as soon as possible.
  5. Do they offer guarantees? If so, what are they?
    • No matter which hearing specialist you choose, ultimately you are beginning a relationship with them. A relationship based upon a significant investment of both time and money to solve you or a loved ones’ hearing loss or tinnitus problem. As with any relationship, it should be based upon trust and a guarantee that you will experience the expected outcome you are looking for.
    • The most common attempt at a guarantee in the field of hearing healthcare and audiology is a “traditional hearing aid return period.” This is NOT a guarantee, this is a law required by every hearing healthcare specialist who is selling a traditional hearing aid widget.
    • When we speak of a ‘guarantee’ we are referring to the commitment of the founder, or owner, or hearing healthcare specialist you choose.
      • Do they guarantee your ability to hear will be restored to its full potential?
      • Do they guarantee if you are unhappy at any point during the adaptation period you will part ways as friends and not spend a single penny for treatment received so far?
      • Do they guarantee your hearing and tinnitus treatment is fully covered with no additional fees during your treatment program?
      • Do they guarantee that at any time during your four-year treatment plan that if your hearing loss or tinnitus progressives severely enough that it requires a new prescription that you will get that new prescription without increased monthly fees?
      • Do they guarantee that your monthly cost of treatment will never increase due to rising costs or inflation?
    • Now those are guarantees!
  6. Are they using the latest treatment options available?
    • Modern hearing loss diagnosis and treatment differs a great deal from years past. With the evolution of computer designed technologies, hearing specialists with the proper equipment will be able to diagnose, treat, and improve your hearing and cognitive functions more accurately. Be on the lookout for a hearing specialist with modern technology and office vibe as opposed to someone who is stuck with antiquated technologies that will hold you back from living your best and healthiest life.
    • Modern technologies that should be used by a hearing specialist include:
      • Speech in Noise Testing to determine your ability to hear in noise
      • Cognitive Screening with Cognivue® Equipment
      • new treatment technology that has artificial intelligence which focuses on restoring stimulation to the auditory system; improving hearing and reducing tinnitus
      • pre-and post-treatment testing to prove your results both in the testing booth and in background noise
      • Audioscan Verfit2 Real-Ear Measurements to objectively measure the benefit of your new treatment
      • Live-Speech Mapping to verify you are hearing all parts of the spoken language
      • BrainHQ brain training program for ongoing memory
      • and processing speed improvements.
  7. Do they offer a comprehensive treatment membership?
    • Long gone are the days of spending thousands of dollars upfront on traditional hearing aids; don’t do it!
    • Hearing loss is the third most common chronic condition affecting seniors in our communities. Like any major medical condition, the treatment of hearing loss, tinnitus and the associated cognitive impacts are not a one-and-done purchase of a hearing aid widget, but rather an ongoing monthly medical treatment.   When you are searching for a hearing healthcare specialist, we recommend you find one who has a monthly treatment program or membership that allows you to begin treatment without investing thousands of dollars on day one.
    • An all-inclusive treatment membership should include everything you need to properly treat your hearing and tinnitus, including:
      • your prescribed hearing technology
      • any supplies, accessories, or batteries you’ll need
      • coverage for loss or damage at a low deductible
      • all your office visits and annual evaluations
      • yearly cognitive/dementia risk screenings
      • early access to events
      • birthday gifts
      • special new release education materials
      • supplements
      • BrainHQ
      • a price lock guarantee so you don’t have to worry about price increases in the future.
  8. Do you get a direct phone number for 24/7 support or questions?
    • Hearing is 24/7, and your support line should be too.
    • Each time a patient embarks on the journey of improved hearing or reduced tinnitus, there is an adaptation period for the patient and their family. This period can take up to 60 days (perhaps longer for the most difficult cases of tinnitus) and is unique to each patient. Whether you or your loved one have a simple question, or need reassurance, your hearing healthcare specialist should give you a direct number to a patient experience coordinator just in case.
    • In addition to the complex hearing and cognitive changes that will happen as we begin restoring the stimulation to your auditory system, there can be moments of minor irritation or discomfort like wearing a new pair of shoes or prescription eyeglasses. Whatever question or concern you have, don’t hesitate to ask!
    • A medical-based hearing healthcare specialist will provide you the means for direct support, as well as an established new treatment plan consisting of 3-4 appointments during the first 45-60 days of treatment. You should plan to visit your specialist four times per year for ongoing maintenance, reevaluations, and prescription updates in addition to any fun or interactive patient events they may offer.
    • Remember, you should not have to pay additional fees or costs for this direct phone number, visits, patient events or ongoing hearing healthcare. It should be included in your comprehensive monthly treatment plan.
  9. Do they make you feel special and comfortable?
    • Regardless of if you are reading this report for your own hearing loss or tinnitus treatment, for a spouse, or another family member, you are the most important part of the healthcare practice.
    • The best hearing healthcare specialists, practices, and teams would be wise to remember that without the patient they would not have careers. As we’ve traveled the country speaking, educating, and working with private practices, we continue to teach based upon the principles of Disney Magic, the Ritz Carlton Gold Standard, and the empathy found at the Cleveland Clinic.
    • When you walk into your new hearing healthcare specialist’s office, you should be made to feel comfortable and welcome. Empathy, compassion, and understanding are very important to the healing process.
    • Here are some things we recommend you should receive:
      • pre-appointment information
      • welcome gift
      • a great look, feel, and smell to the office
      • a big thank you
      • treat or drink
      • walked to your treatment room
      • they should get to know you the person
      • understand your symptoms and desired outcome
      • a fond farewell to return.
    • If you’d like the feedback of others prior to booking an appointment, try visiting their online views or video testimonials to learn more about what to expect at your appointment.
  10. Do they have a great reputation?
    • “Trust; but verify!”
    • When it comes to choosing a hearing healthcare specialist, we prefer no other phrase.
    • With the internet today, it is extremely easy to pull up ratings, reviews, and testimonials from other patients. Simply go to Google, Facebook, HealthyHearing, or Yelp and search for audiology reviews in your town. We would recommend choosing the hearing healthcare specialist with the most reviews at the highest rating. This gives me comfort in knowing that they are busy enough to get the most reviews, and great enough to earn that high 5-star reputation.
    • At the time of writing this report, every Excellence in Audiology™ member-clinic has the most 5-Star reviews in their city. No other network of hearing healthcare specialists even comes close to this number of reviews.
    • In addition, with the growth of YouTube, many practices now have a YouTube channel full of real-life patients on video giving their own personal testimonial about the hearing healthcare specialist and office. So, remember, trust that your research has fulfilled the first nine questions of this report, but don’t hesitate to verify with real patient reviews, testimonials, and references.
    • And never be shy about asking for references and go directly to the source! You have the right to call any hearing healthcare specialist and ask for a list of references who may be patients and/or local physicians who have volunteered to help advise other patients as they first enter the world of hearing loss and tinnitus treatment.
    • Okay, we know we said the list was only 10, but this last one is important to consider!
  11. Will they make treatment affordable?
    • We realize that we were only supposed to list the ‘Top 10 Things You Must Know Before Choosing a Hearing Healthcare Specialist,’ but we couldn’t leave out some tips on making sure your choice of hearing healthcare specialist never allows a treatment decision to become a financial decision.
    • Once you are comfortable knowing the answers to the Top-10 Questions and have chosen a hearing healthcare specialist to treat you, your spouse, or your loved one, the next question is typically:
    • “Is this comprehensive treatment plan affordable?”
    • When it comes to affordability, there is no greater pain than having to turn a patient away due to their financial situation. Thankfully our new treatment membership programs allow us to treat nearly every patient by reducing costs to a low, monthly, affordable payment. Your local Excellence In Audiology™ member-clinic will always offer an affordable membership plan to ensure that you don’t have to make a treatment decision, or possibly compromise treatment, because of finances.
    • Benefits of Membership Based Hearing Healthcare:
      • avoid the large upfront cost of traditional hearing aids
      • low monthly membership plans for the medical treatment of hearing loss and tinnitus
      • all-inclusive coverage for your hearing and tinnitus treatment needs
      • price lock guarantee so your treatment costs won’t increase over time
      • No patient is denied the care they need due to bad credit/no credit.
The World's Award-Winning Hearing & Tinnitus Treatment Specialists
Excellent overall experience...very high level of technical competence and a clear commitment to patient satisfaction. I highly recommend these people for solutions to hearing issues. — Bob D.
The reviews listed are from actual patients of Excellence in Audiology. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.
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