Study finds untreated hearing loss leads to higher healthcare costs
Over the past forty years the greatest joy of our business is providing the gift of better hearing. Difficulty hearing is one of the most common conditions among older adults. Many people make lifestyle adjustments rather than seek help. With the new advances in technology now is an ideal time to consider an evaluation. At Hopco Hearing Center, we have made a commitment to professional service, quality products and low prices. Here are some factors to keep in mind:
Choice - There are over 200 manufacturers we can service. Everyone's hearing loss and lifestyle is different... So we offer a wide variety.
Follow-up - All aids come with a 60 day trial... We see you weekly during this time to assure your adjustments and the aids adjustment are satisfactory.
Continued Education - Every year we attend conventions and manufacturer seminars to keep up the latest fitting news and technology. We are members of nationally accredited American Speech and Hearing Association, American Academy of Audiologists and the International Hearing Society.
In a study published online by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Annie N. Simpson, Ph.D., of the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, and colleagues compared the costs of health care for a matched group of privately insured individuals with and without a diagnosis of hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss affects more than 60 percent of U.S. adults older than 70 years; the onset is gradual, with prevalence tripling from the age of 50 years to 60 years. However, the association between hearing loss in older middle-aged adults (age 55-64 years) and the use of health care has not been studied.
For this study, the researchers included data of privately insured individuals 55 to 64 years of age with a diagnosis coding for hearing loss and matched them with a comparison group. Health care bills for up to 18 months of follow-up after baseline were summed by patient to calculate total payments for inpatient services, outpatient services, prescription medication, and cost of hearing services. A total of 561,764 individuals were included in the study.
The authors found that individuals with a diagnosis of hearing loss had 33 percent higher health care payments (average, $14,165) during a 1.5-year time period compared to patients without hearing loss (average, $10,629).
“This finding indicates that negative health-related effects of hearing loss, a condition that many consider simply an unavoidable result of aging, may manifest earlier than is generally recognized and may affect use of health care across the continuum of care. Studies are needed to identify the underlying factors that lead to the observed cost differences, as well as to ascertain the extent to which early and successful use of hearing aids and other hearing loss interventions modify cost differences. Nevertheless, our study suggests that hearing loss is costly, even in middle-aged individuals, and is present in large numbers of adults for whom early, successful intervention may prevent future hearing-related disabilities and decreased quality of life.”