You may be experiencing interruptions to your regular patient flow right now, and some practices may have no patients coming into the office at all. Despite the circumstances, there are several ways to provide services to your patients and generate revenue safely.
Many of the services your audiology department can provide will start with a phone call to patients to find out how they’re coping with the current situation. Discuss internally what types of services you’ll be able to offer and anticipate what each patient may need by reviewing their patient history records. Even if they don’t need anything, they’ll appreciate the call and remember you took the time to check in with them.
Warranty Extensions & Service Packages
Identify patients with warranties that have expired or are close to expiring as well as third-party (Tru Hearing, Epic, etc.) patients that were either fit a year or more ago or have exhausted their complimentary visits. Extending the repair warranty provides certainty in uncertain times and is a reassuring message to patients who are concerned about costly repairs now that they have taken a hit in their retirement accounts and are looking for ways to control expenses. Consider offering a service package with one, two and three-year options.
Watch our Psychology of Pricing video for suggestions on service package pricing strategies. We also created a calculator to help you determine an appropriate service plan fee schedule. You can request the calculator from your Regional Manager or fill out the Request Information form below. Please reference Service Plan Calculator in the Message section.
ALDs & Accessories
Offer ALDs and accessories that would help your patient communicate or hear better while at home. They are watching more TV than ever and need to be able to effectively communicate with friends, family and doctors (telehealth visits). Don’t forget about the people living with those who are hearing impaired! Speak also to the people living with your patient to understand their concerns as well. Once they receive the device in the mail, you can set up a call or video chat to help them set it up if needed.
Batteries & Supplies
Call and ask patients if they need batteries or supplies and offer to mail to them or offer curbside or drop box pickup. Consider a discount, battery club program or BOGO offer. Be sure to send the product(s) safely and add a note to the package on how you prepared the shipment (wearing gloves, etc.) to provide assurance. When pricing battery options, don’t forget to calculate shipping costs and time spent handling or delivering them.
Upgrade Loaner/Demo Program
Depending on your state laws, you may be able to set up an upgrade loaner program for patients with hearing aids three years or older. To comply with social distance guidelines, you can offer curbside service, set up a drop box for patients to pick up a new pair to try out or offer to send them to their house. An appointment can be set up for remote programming. Watch our Drop Box video for details on how to set up a drop box service.
Distance Delivery Program
If you can set up to fit/program from a distance, then call patients who recently tested for hearing loss but did not schedule a hearing aid evaluation. If they are having a hard time communicating/hearing while at home, encourage them to try devices. You can even schedule a virtual hearing aid consultation. Consider offering a discount or an extended trial period.
Many rules governing telehealth services have been waived in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. And even after the pandemic is over, practices may want to consider telehealth as an additional option for patients. The best part of telehealth is that you can safely continue to support your patients on their journey to better hearing health. If you could bill for a service before, then you may be able to bill for it now. Check your commercial insurance contracts. If you have a private pay patient and are unbundled, you can charge for the service as if they were in the office. Watch our webinar on Telehealth and view our Teleaudiology page for information specific to teleaudiology and for ideas of the services you can offer.