Oticon Medical Introduces the Pediatric Loaner Program
AudiologyOnline: What is the Pediatric Loaner Program?
Gabrielle Simone, AuD: The Ponto Pediatric Loaner Program is something that is unique to Oticon Medical and bone anchored pediatric candidates. It was designed to ensure that no child is without sound. This program allows clinicians to provide Ponto 3 Super Power sound processors and softbands to children who need direct amplification. This ensures they receive early access to sound to promote optimal speech and language learning, while waiting for third-party reimbursement approval.
AudiologyOnline: Can you tell us about the process for hearing care professionals?
Gabrielle Simone, AuD: We are a very customer service driven company and want to make this process as simple as possible for clinicians. Facilities that are interested in enrolling must first have an established account with Oticon Medical. Once the account is established, the facility must then complete a one-time loaner application with Oticon Medical to participate in the program. Training will be provided to centers that are not proficient with the current Oticon Medical Genie Medical software, which can be done onsite or remotely with local representatives.
AudiologyOnline: How does this program benefit hearing care professionals?
Gabrielle Simone, AuD: It allows clinicians to provide sound to children immediately without hassle. We know how important it is to provide children access to sounds to promote speech and language development and want professionals to have a way to do this while waiting for insurance approval. It is a very simple process. The clinician needs to fill out an order form and return it to Oticon Medical. This will now allow the child to receive a Ponto 3 Super Power sound processor for a three-month period. Once the loan period expires, they then have the option to purchase the processor or return the device to Oticon Medical. We will even send a reminder postcard when a patient is within three weeks of the loaner period expiring, and a phone call will also be made the week before it expires.
AudiologyOnline: What does this mean for Oticon Medical patients?
Gabrielle Simone, AuD: This program gives pediatric patients access to sound when they need it at no added cost to the family. We want children to receive the best possible hearing care right from the start. Parents do not have to worry about waiting to fit their child with a sound processor while going through the insurance approval process. This really helps to ensure children have access to the information needed to engage and communicate every day.
AudiologyOnline: Who is eligible to enroll in the Oticon Medical loaner program?
Gabrielle Simone, AuD: Children, ranging in ages from birth to five, who are candidates for a Bone Anchored Hearing System (BAHS) and have an immediate need for hearing assistance while arrangements for permanent amplification through third-party reimbursement is secured.
AudiologyOnline: Why is it important to offer a loaner program?
Gabrielle Simone, AuD: We know how important it is to provide access to sound and don’t want to waste any time during the fitting process. Third-party reimbursement can sometimes take several months. We want pediatric patients to be fit as quickly as possible to ensure optimal access to sound for speech and language development. The loaner device can typically arrive at the center within one to two days of the request.
AudiologyOnline: Which processors are available through this program, any accessories?
Gabrielle Simone, AuD: The loaner program can provide processors for both unilateral and bilateral fittings with softband(s). The patient has the option of a few colors for the Ponto Softband (black, beige, blue, or pink) and our Ponto 3 Super Power device(s) (diamond black, mocca brown, or Chroma beige).
AudiologyOnline: What happens if a child loses the loaner device?
Gabrielle Simone, AuD: We realize that accidents happen with children, so Oticon Medical provides one-time complimentary loss-and-damage coverage within the trial period. Neither the center nor the parents will be financially responsible for this one-time coverage within the three months.
AudiologyOnline: What happens if the third party does not provide an answer within those three months?
Gabrielle Simone, AuD: There are instances when insurance verification can take longer than the expected three months. Extensions may be possible depending on the situation. This would be discussed with the center’s local Oticon medical representative.
We encourage professionals who want to learn more about the Ponto BAHS, including our exclusive minimally invasive Ponto surgery (MIPS) and the clinical results, to visit https://www.oticonmedical.com/us/for-professionals/bone-anchored or the Oticon Medical Page on AudiologyOnlline.