More than once we’ve had to answer the question of why we bill insurance for hearing tests when other places do it for free.
As audiologists, our license allows us to do full diagnostic hearing testing to evaluate the type and degree of hearing loss. We use several different tests to give a complete picture of your hearing status and we often write a report to your primary care doctor so that the results can be part of your medical record.
To be licensed in the state of New York to practice audiology, new audiologists have to have a doctoral degree, to have passed a national exam and to have worked for a year under a currently licensed audiologist.
This training teaches us to give these comprehensive evaluations to diagnose and treat certain types of hearing loss. If we see a medical issue, we refer you to your physician.
Places that give “free” hearing tests are doing a much smaller amount of testing for the purposes of fitting a hearing aid only. These tests can be considered a screening tool for hearing loss vs. a diagnostic evaluation.
Because we are being reimbursed for our testing services, we don’t have to count on the sale of hearing aids as our only revenue. Make no mistake, we at Audiology Island think hearing aids can and do work well and we recommend them often when we diagnose hearing loss, but we don’t have the need to make the sale in order to keep the office running.