More than once I’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 diagnos- tic hearing testing to evalu- ate the type and degree of hearing loss. We use sev- eral 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 re- sults can be part of your medical record.
To be licensed in the state of California to practice audi- ology, new audiologists have to have a doctoral degree, to have passed a national exam and to have worked for a year under a currently li- censed audiologist.
This training teaches us to give these comprehensive evaluations to diagnose and
treat certain types of hearing loss. If we see a medical is- sue, we refer you to your phy- sician.
Places that give “free” hear- ing tests are doing a much smaller amount of testing for the purposes of fitting a hear- ing aid only. These tests can be considered a screening tool for hearing loss vs. a di- agnostic evaluation.
Because we are being reim- bursed for our testing servic- es, we don’t have to count on the sale of hearing aids as our only revenue. Make no mis- take, we at Valley Audiology 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 of- fice running.