Hearing damaged caused by industrial or recreational noise is a multi-faceted problem that has to be addressed from various angles. It requires care by a multi-disciplinary team and ongoing interaction between different experts. Experience has shown that this does not happen in practice, or does not happen often enough.
Preventing ailments and making (early) diagnoses have very definite health benefits. Despite this, there is a measure of reluctance on the part of medical insurers to cover the cost of preventing hearing damage. Why is that?
Preventive audiologists as a link in the preventive hearing healthcare chain: revolutionary!
HearingCoach is an organization of Accredited Service Providers. The contribution of their expertise to the field of preventive healthcare is revolutionary. Their training ensures that they can do preventive case finding and give advice on risk factors with ease. In this way they contribute to quality assurance, simplification of the healthcare chain and create a perfect match between prevention and curative healthcare.
The Healthy Hearing Program encourages continuity (therapy adherence).
The introduction of the Healthy Hearing Program offers certain perspectives with regard to preventive therapy adherence, for example by investigating the feasibility of prevention contracts between the Accredited Service Providers and patient or the client and the medical insurance company.
Oto-acoustic Emissions: new golden standard for (early) detection of hearing damage.
It is important to use an examination method that allows early detection of hearing damage.The traditional beep tone test using a headset (audiometry) that is currently performed does not allow for this. Damage is only noticed once it is already too late. A more suitable technique that can reveal hearing damage at an early stage is Oto-acoustic Emissions (OAEs). Comparing multiple OAE measurements give a clear indication as to the status of the patient and whether further interventions are required (should further deterioration be identified).
The low threshold and easy accessibility of the healthcare provider (Accredited Service Providers), the hearing healthcare program (Healthy Hearing Program) and the screening tool for early detection (OAE technique) all make an important contribution to the success rate.
As preventive care becomes more professional, methodical and systematical, it seems logical that medical insurance companies will open up to the idea of financial incentives.
Here are some of the current barriers: