Program Launches in October in Florida and New Jersey
West Palm Beach, FL - August 11, 2009 - HearUSA (AMEX:EAR), one of America's leading providers of hearing aids and hearing care announced today that it is launching the initial phase of a hearing care program designed exclusively for AARP members. The program is scheduled to be made available to AARP members in Florida and New Jersey this October and will eventually be extended to AARP members in all 50 states and the U.S. territories.
This relationship offers a unique opportunity to better serve the hearing care needs of America's 50+ community. Thirty-six million Americans suffer from hearing loss, according to the American Academy of Audiology, yet the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) reports that only one-in-five has received treatment. According to the Hearing Loss Association, almost all (95 percent) people with hearing loss could be successfully treated with hearing aids.
"HearUSA designed the program to provide some relief from the high cost of hearing aids," said Stephen Hansbrough, CEO and chairman of HearUSA. "Importantly, the program will also employ quality measures and evaluate outcomes and processes not always associated with the sale of hearing aids, but critical to achieving hearing care success."
HearUSA's nationwide network of credentialed hearing care providers will offer all AARP members reduced costs, uniform pricing and extended warranties on its selection of state-of-the-art digital hearing aids and related products, plus personal hearing rehabilitation services to help patients experience the maximum benefits of the latest in amplification.
"The innovative model HearUSA has created will give AARP members access to a hearing wellness program that focuses on education and quality of care," said David Mathis, senior vice president of AARP Services, Inc., the wholly-owned and taxable subsidiary of AARP. "Our members will have access to thousands of hearing care professionals and a choice of specialized hearing care solutions. We are pleased to work with HearUSA to help meet this important and increasing health care need."
When fully implemented, the AARP-branded hearing care program from HearUSA will require a nationwide network of least five thousand independent hearing care providers and will enable them and the industry's manufacturers to provide millions of Americans with more affordable quality hearing care solutions they need and deserve.
HearUSA will be expanding its provider network by reaching out to qualified hearing care professionals throughout the nation and offering them the opportunity to participate in "this innovative and rewarding" program. As part of the selection process, applicants must agree to observe the hearing industry's best practices guidelines.
"The negative impact of untreated hearing loss on family members, social relationships and in the workplace is enormous," said Dr. Cindy Beyer, audiologist and HearUSA senior vice resident. "Hearing loss is a critical quality of life and health issue and we are committed to seeing quality hearing care recognized as a medical necessity."