Hearing Economics

Featured image for “In the Beginning was the Word: Unraveling HearUSA, part 2”
Jul. 12, 2011

In the Beginning was the Word: Unraveling HearUSA, part 2

Hearing Health & Technology Matters
… the hearing industry has been … loosely organized … lacking defined standards of quality in both the provision of testing services and in product performance.  Consumers…have not developed a confidence about audiology in general as being a serious aspect of health care and concern.{{1}}[[1]]HEARx Marketing Plan, internal document, 1986.  Unless otherwise noted, all quotes in this post come from
Featured image for “Life in the Fast Lane: Unraveling HearUSA, part 1”
Jul. 05, 2011

Life in the Fast Lane: Unraveling HearUSA, part 1

Hearing Health & Technology Matters
“The Company’s strategy includes immediate public differentiation from all existing hearing centers.”{{1}}[[1]]HEARx Marketing Plan, internal document, about 1986.[[1]] Thus began one man’s corporate vision to revolutionize hearing care in the US and Canada, and also make a bunch of money. Based on current headlines, it seems the vision has been achieved.  The corporation–currently known as HearUSA  for a few more months
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Jun. 28, 2011

Who Ya Gonna Serve: Shareholders or Stakeholders?

Hearing Health & Technology Matters
 If any investors believe that the SEC’s enforcement actions drove insider trading out of the markets, they are beyond mere legal help.{{1}}[[1]]http://www.professorbainbridge.com/professorbainbridgecom/2010/04/is-insider-trading-bad-if-so-why.html[[1]] Back in April, we reported on possible insider trading in the hearing aid industry and promised some educational discussion of fiduciary duty and the stakeholder paradox in a follow-up post{{2}}[[2]]https://hearinghealthmatters.org/hearingeconomics/2011/hearing-aid-insider-trading-big-time-or-bush-league/[[2]].  It’s not stuff we get in graduate school,
Featured image for “Complaining Nation: Should Audiologists and Hearing Aid Manufacturers Keep the Bad?”
Jun. 21, 2011

Complaining Nation: Should Audiologists and Hearing Aid Manufacturers Keep the Bad?

Hearing Health & Technology Matters
Economics is all about data collection–lots and lots of data.  To what end, you may ask?  The idea is that if you have enough data on all possible responses in the market, you can probably develop models that will predict consequences of what you do right now.  For instance, wouldn’t you like a model that lets you know the consequences of raising
Jun. 15, 2011

Regulation of Hearing Aids in the US, part 7 (the end!)

Hearing Health & Technology Matters
  Back to the Future:  Current Thinking at the FDA and in the Marketplace The burden of regulation continues to haunt the hearing aid industry and cost consumers.  Notwithstanding the entrenched regulatory mentality described in Parts 5 and 6 of this series, there were two interesting Citizen’s Petitions that were filed with the FDA in 2003.  Their purposes were to
Jun. 08, 2011

Regulation of Hearing Aids in the US, Part 6 (it’s a long story)

Hearing Health & Technology Matters
The 1977 Final Rule Revisited… Revisited… Revisited …and Kept   Technological progress and market needs moved the industry forward, but the Final Rule remained as stated in 1977.  For example, in 1985, the FDA approved the Nuclear 22 Channel Cochlear Implant system for general use in adult patients with profound hearing loss after the device had spent 10 years in
Jun. 04, 2011

Holly’s House of Audiology Feng Shui: Open After Remodeling

Hearing Health & Technology Matters
My feng sui is restored, thanks to the most unlikely of sources…. My state government!  At the end of 2010, I wrote about extreme discomfort brought about by the continuing education process in my State for dispensing audiologists, which required the craft skills of a kindergarten aide and not much else.  The worst part, however, was the discovery that my
May. 30, 2011

Regulation of Hearing Aids in the US, Part 5

Hearing Health & Technology Matters
The FDA Regulation: 1977 Final Rule By 1977, the momentum driving hearing aids into the medical device arena was unstoppable. On Feb. 15, 1977, the FDA published its Final Rule, which made hearing aids restricted devices, promulgated regulations governing professional and patient labeling, and set forth conditions for the sale of hearing aids.1 The detail and scope of the Final
May. 24, 2011

Taking Hearing Aids Mainstream: Ear-Level Gadgets to Boost Prosperity and Health

Hearing Health & Technology Matters
 “Dress up and put on diamonds even to answer the phone, as it changes the way you are.”  Mae West Let’s take a break from the hearing aid history series and go check out the future of hearing aids. It’s probably safe to say that all economists agree that technology drives production and prosperity.  In most cases, prosperity translates into improvements
Featured image for “Regulation of Hearing Aids, part 4”
May. 15, 2011

Regulation of Hearing Aids, part 4

Hearing Health & Technology Matters
The evolution of the hearing aid industry sketched out in parts 1-3 of this post series is that of a consumer product.  From hand to horn to telephone-like device, the hearing aid was developed and thought of by manufacturers and consumers alike as an appliance that boosted sound.  In that regard, hearing aids were a closer fit to the personal stereo niche