No, no, they do not. In our industry, the hearing world, we have lived in a “bundled” world. What? What does that mean? Let me explain.

Since the beginning of time, when a patient would purchase a hearing instrument, they paid one price. Their contract price of the hearing instrument includes all your hearing care. It includes your testing, speech discrimination, tympanometry, demonstration, fitting, instructions and guidance, cerumen removal, ear flushing, video otoscope, diagnostic testing of the hearing instruments, consultation and routine checkups. It also includes firmware and software updates to the hearing instruments, phone tech support, telehealth programming and remote programming, house visits, to set up TV streaming devices or just to clean your ears. You name it.

Anything you go into your hearing health care provider’s office for is covered. Maybe you just need them to look in your ear. Maybe you just need them to change the wax guards because you can’t. Literally everything and everyone you deal with at the office is included in the bundled price.

All of these services take lots of time. In the long run, over a three- to four-year period you more than likely, if you get the hearing care you need, will come out money ahead. So a bundled price means that you pay for this at the beginning when you order your hearing instruments. I think it may be one of the only industries where we pay one time and have unlimited services for a product. If you have ever come to our office and been under our care, you know how much time, training, knowledge and compassionate care is given to our patients.

As technology changes, so many hearing instruments have advanced technology along with Bluetooth capabilities. They have become very time consuming, both for professionals and the patient. Many offices are now offering an “unbundled purchasing option.” So what does this mean?

First of all, instead of just one price that includes everything, your fees will be broken down. You will have the cost of the hearing aids listed separately from all the services that are needed to fit and care for you properly. So the hearing instruments will have a cost and then you must also purchase a dedicated hearing care package. Everything is spelled out. The hearing instruments can not fit or program themselves. You need the care and expertise of the professional team that you are dealing with. All of them, the entire staff that shows up everyday to make sure our patients have what they need and when they need it.

So the question, does it save you money. In the first year you may save a little bit. However, by year three or four you will have spent at least the same amount of money as a bundled price. It is really a matter of choice. Do you like to pay and then be done with it and have unlimited care and tech support. Or would you rather pay as you go? We can do it either way. It is what works best for the patient to get them the help and care they desire.

There are no two businesses created equal. All have their attributes. Correcting your hearing and providing you with the best speech understanding is not the same as putting on a pair of glasses and moving on. It just is not. It takes quality care. It takes time. It takes commitment. Everyone wants the best. We want the best for you too ... however that plan works out. Hearing aids don’t fit themselves. You need us and our expertise. Bundled or Unbundled. We will break it down for you. To Hear Better Is To Live Better!

Roseann B. Kiefer, B.A., BC-HIS, is owner of Lampe and Kiefer Hearing Aid Center, Sebring. This information is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure your condition. Always talk to your doctor before following any medical advice or starting a diet or exercise program.