I just saw a 3 page faxed questionaire that is probably going to many
audiologists from AARP. One of the questions deals with compensation:
"Is your compensation based on the revenue received from the hearing
aids you sell?" Is being compensated for the hearing aids you sell a
good or a bad thing?
My vote goes for the "professional" being reimbursed a portion of the
"gross profit" received from all professional fees generated by the
professional including the sale of hearing aids. In other words, the
good quality doctor should be paid more than the poor quality doctor.
There is a large percentage of the population who would disagree with
me. I believe they will defend the practice of paying everybody a
similar salary, regardless of their competency. (This is more
AARP sponsored a "sting" operation in Florida several years ago where
they sent persons to shop a number of audiologists and hearing aid
dispensers. They claimed that nearly all the audiologists and dispensers
did not perform the hearing tests required by the state. I have always
wondered if this was a result: 1) because the shoppers stated at the
beginning they were not going to purchase a hearing aid so there was no
reason to perform all the required tests, or 2) the state of Florida may
require some tests that really aren't necessary?
One of my fears of a proposed FDA rule is that it will be too specific
and name certain tests that are appropriate today, but may not be
necessary at some future time. No law should set in stone the tests one
must perform to fit a hearing aid. I wrote much of the Iowa law. It
calls for "appropriate tests." This gives great freedom to a licensing
board which I believe is sufficient!
Paul Woodard ;-)