WOONSOCKET, RHODE ISLAND — In an October 5th press release CVS announced it will be opening Hearing Centers at seven CVS/pharmacy locations in the Dallas and Cleveland areas. According to another statement, the CVS Hearing Centers will be open Tuesdays to Saturdays and be staffed by licensed audiologists and hearing instrument specialists.
In addition the Hearing Centers, which will operate in tandem with CVS optical centers, will offer a number of hearing aid products as well as free hearing screenings.
Hearing Aid Services a “Great Fit” for CVS
According to Andrew Sussman, M.D., president of CVS/minuteclinic and executive vice president & associate chief medical officer of CVS Health “Hearing and optical services are a great fit with the existing health offerings in our stores, including industry-leading pharmacy products and services, our MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics and a comprehensive smoking cessation program,”.
“By expanding our retail health offerings into vision and hearing services, we are providing customers a convenient, single destination on their path to better health.”
According to CVS representative Stephanie Cuhna, making hearing services more accessible and convenient for customers will enhance CVS customers’ quality of life by addressing their hearing needs sooner. The centers will offer a variety of hearing aid products and custom ear plugs, as well as provide services such as free hearing screenings and free in-store hearing aid clean and checks.
The hearing center will also offer “innovative noise simulation” to demonstrate how hearing aids can provide improvements in hearing during different life experiences. Many insurance plans will also be accepted.
Hearing Aid Supplier Rumors
Sources tell HHTM that the main supplier of hearing aids to the CVS Hearing Centers will be Sivantos.
Attempts to reach both Sivantos and CVS to confirm this report have been unsuccessful. If Sivantos is indeed the main supplier to the CVS venture, this may be an indication of an emerging vertical integration strategy involving retail pharmacy chains as well as web-based hearing care.
Update 11/10/15: HHTM has received confirmation that Sivantos, under it’s HearUSA retail brand, will be partnering with CVS pharmacies as it launches hearing centers in select markets.
Update 4/24/17: CVS announces major US expansion, plans hearing centers in up to 50 stores across the US by the end of 2017. Also, adds 2 new suppliers to its offering: Unitron and Bernafon