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Financial Considerations and Hearing Aid Counseling

Donald J. Schum, PhD

July 27, 2009

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Question

How does the financial burden of hearing aids affect an audiologist's motivational interviewing during hearing aid counseling?

Answer

Of course, as a clinician, you don't want to use your excellent counseling skills to motivate or convince someone to do something that they cannot afford to do;this would clearly not be appropriate. Therefore, finances do have to be considered in the hearing aid counseling process. Keep in mind, however, that the only person who can decide what the patient can or cannot afford is the patient - it's not the audiologist's job to make that decision. Certainly you never want your patients to overextend themselves financially so you do need to be respectful of the cost issue. As a clinician, it is your job to help determine if the financial objection that a patient brings up is a true financial objection. At times it may be, and at times it is perhaps a smokescreen that the patient is putting up as an indication that he or she is not ready to move forward with hearing aids. That's a difficult call sometimes and so clinicians need to be sensitive to the issue during the hearing aid process.

Don Schum currently serves as Vice President for Audiology & Professional Relations for Oticon, Inc. Previous to his position at Oticon in Somerset, Don served as the Director of Audiology for the main Oticon office in Copenhagen Denmark. In addition, he served as the Director of the Hearing Aid Lab at the University of Iowa School of Medicine (1990-1995) and as an Assistant professor at the Medical University of South Carolina (1988-1990). During his professional career, Dr. Schum has been an active researcher in the areas of Hearing Aids, Speech Understanding, and Outcome Measures. (B.S. in Speech & Hearing Science, University of Illinois;M.A. in Audiology, University of Iowa;Ph.D. in Audiology, Louisiana State University.)

This Ask the Expert was taken from the recorded course entitled "Motivating the Older Patient to Take Action" that is part of a six part series of live, recorded and text based courses on the Human Side of the Fitting Process. View the complete course here: www.audiologyonline.com/ceus/recordedcoursedetails.asp?class_id=13126

Visit the AudiologyOnline library for other recorded courses in this series: Managing Patient Expectations and Customizing Advanced Technology Fittings and the accompanying articles to all recorded courses. Look for upcoming live courses in this series - Special Fitting Considerations, the Fine Tuning Process, and the Follow-up Process - that will be presented on 9/11/09, 10/30/09 and 12/4/09. Further details can be found in the AudiologyOnline course listings.


donald j schum

Donald J. Schum, PhD

Vice President of Audiology and Professional Relations, Oticon

Don Schum currently serves as Vice President for Audiology & Professional Relations for Oticon, Inc. Previous to his position at Oticon in Somerset, Don served as the Director of Audiology for the main Oticon office in Copenhagen Denmark. In addition, he served as the Director of the Hearing Aid Lab at the University of Iowa, School of Medicine (1990-1995) and as an Assistant professor at the Medical University of South Carolina (1988-1990). During his professional career, Dr. Schum has been an active researcher in the areas of Hearing Aids, Speech Understanding, and Outcome Measures. (B.S. in Speech & Hearing Science, University of Illinois M.A. in Audiology, University of Iowa Ph.D. in Audiology, Louisiana State University.)


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