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Substantially higher healthcare costs for middle-aged adults with hearing impairment

Survey

Hearing impairment may be expensive
© Fyerne - Fotolia.com

A US research team recently published the results of a study showing that people with a diagnosis of hearing loss had 33% higher healthcare payments over a 1.5-year time period compared to those without hearing loss (HL).

The researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina published these findings in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery in early April. They examined the costs of healthcare for a matched group of privately insured middle-aged adults from 55 to 64 years of age, with and without a diagnosis of HL, reports EurekAlert.

The results were based on healthcare bills for up to 18 months of follow-up after baseline by summing costs per patient to calculate total payments for inpatient services, outpatient services, prescription medication, and cost of hearing services. The study included a total of 561,764 individuals, 50% in each group. It was found that those with a diagnosis of HL had 33% higher healthcare payments at an average of USD 14,165 versus those without this diagnosis, with costs averaging USD 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 healthcare 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,” say the researchers. The results are surprising because higher costs are generally thought to begin from 65 years of age and not in the middle-aged group studied here.

Source: EurekAlert; Simpson AN, et al. Higher Health Care Costs in Middle-aged US Adults With Hearing Loss. JAMA Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery. 2016 Apr 7

C.S.

June 3 Apple announcements embrace hearing health, but are we closer to an actual Apple hearing aid?
June 3 Apple announcements embrace hearing health, but are we closer to an actual Apple hearing aid?

Apps

© Yacobchuk - iStock

New Apple Inc. tech products to be announced on June 3 will reflect the computer giant's increasing focus on healthcare, in particular hearing features aimed at the so-called Silver Tsunami generation of ageing consumers.

Audiology dispute in Costa Rica as state model for buying hearing aids changes
Audiology dispute in Costa Rica as state model for buying hearing aids changes

funding

© GB

A change in Costa Rica's hearing aid purchasing model has triggered a dispute between speech-hearing therapists and state health administrators.

AAA celebrated the Best of Audiology
AAA celebrated the Best of Audiology

AAA2019

For four days in Columbus, Ohio, thousands of delegates looked to learn from and engage with each other and to inspire the next generation of audiologists coming into the profession.

EHIMA figures show 6.5% year growth in hearing aid sales
EHIMA figures show 6.5% year growth in hearing aid sales

Sales

© WHO

April figures released by the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA) show that global adoption of hearing aids in 2018 grew faster than in either of the two preceding years.

US NIDCD appoints Duke University professor Debara Tucci as its new director
US NIDCD appoints Duke University professor Debara Tucci as its new director

Nomination

© National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

Dr. Debara L. Tucci will take over in September this year as the next director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), in charge of its annual budget for the nation's hearing matters of around $459m.

Tailored FDA framework planned to let evolving algorithms teach themselves
Tailored FDA framework planned to let evolving algorithms teach themselves

Ai

© Maxkabakov - Fotolia

The fast-arriving healthcare benefits from evolving artifical intelligence (AI) technology mean a flexible "tailored" regulatory framework must be put in place, says the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), though the agency quickly drew criticism for lack of clarity.

Affordable app-based hearing aid can benefit poor children in India
Affordable app-based hearing aid can benefit poor children in India

App

© UTSAAH Lab, CPDM, IISc.

An Indian Institute of Science (IISc) study has produced an economical prototype for a phone-based hearing aid complete with therapy, aimed at helping children with hearing loss.

Company Directory

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Auditdata: tools to excel in businessAuditdata: tools to excel in business

Advertorial

As the global hearing profession faces change and what seems to be many threats, we think it is imperative that businesses have access to the best tools and data. [ ... ]

Oticon launches groundbreaking Oticon Opn SOticon launches groundbreaking Oticon Opn S

© Oticon

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