Unique FLEX program improves hearing instrument adoption and satisfaction, and helps reduce new patient ’drop out’ rate
March 20, 2013 – Minneapolis, Minnesota – Unitron U.S. today announced it will offer its innovative FLEX:TRIAL™ and FLEX:UPGRADE™ programs to a broader range of customers, after a successful pilot phase drew widespread praise from participating hearing healthcare professionals (HHCPs).
The FLEX™ program offers the industry’s first truly risk- and obligation-free option for potential new patients to ‘test drive’ personalized hearing instruments, addressing the up to 50 percent of people who fail to purchase a hearing aid, despite visiting a provider.
“Our industry is long overdue for a patient-centric solution to hearing aid trial that is also easy and beneficial for providers,” said Rodney Schutt, President, Unitron U.S. “The FLEX program removes common barriers to patient acceptance and satisfaction with hearing aids, while giving providers the flexibility to program a single instrument to higher or lower levels of technology – as many times as needed – in order to provide a trial that’s uniquely suited to the patient’s needs.”
After launching the program as a pilot to more than 50 providers nationwide, Unitron received universal praise for applying the concept of a ‘test drive’ to an industry that previously offered few chances for patients to experience the benefits of hearing instruments in their day-to-day lives before making a purchase. The FLEX program addresses the fact that up to 50 percent of all potential new patients who visit a hearing healthcare practice leave without purchasing an instrument, mainly due to concerns about cost and benefits – whether the hearing aid they have tried in the office will be right for daily living.
“The FLEX program brought in more patients than I could have imagined, and almost every patient brought a family member,” says Dominick Servedio, Au.D., P.C., in New York City. “Typically we see four to five patients a day in January and February. With the FLEX program, we’re seeing seven to 10 patients a day. Closing rates are usually 20 to 30 percent, but I’ve had a closing rate of 80 percent with the trial. FLEX has been extraordinary.”
FLEX:TRIAL – the industry’s first customized hearing aid ‘test drive’
Typically, hearing aid trials are limited to an audiologist’s office and don’t offer patients a chance to experience the benefits of hearing instruments in their everyday lives. Other trial programs use a limited number of instruments for trials, often without a full variety of technologies, and require patients to pay for the instrument up-front and receive a refund if they choose not to purchase.
With FLEX:TRIAL, patients who are resistant to trying hearing aids or nervous about the financial commitment can be fit with a FLEX:TRIAL device with the right technology level for them to try at home with no cost and no obligation, to see how better hearing can improve their lives and enhance the daily activities they enjoy.
The difference is in the instrument itself, as FLEX: TRIAL units are not conventional demonstration models. Using Unitron’s TrueFit™ software, providers are able to program a single hearing instrument to higher or lower levels of technology as many times as needed, for the time period they choose, in order to provide a trial solution to a patient. Those newly diagnosed with hearing loss get immediate access to the product with the technology level best suited to their needs, focusing their attention on the benefits of better hearing. Providers report that patients return to the office after the trial more satisfied with their decision and ready to purchase.
“As the owner of a private practice, you’re always looking for ways to connect your patients with the best technology at an affordable price, while making the process easier for everyone involved,” said Adam Bernstein, owner of The Hearing Professionals, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “With FLEX, we’ve found a way to do that. Once patients experience how the technology can help them in their daily lives, the instruments practically sell themselves.”
FLEX:UPGRADE – technology upgrades made easy for patients and providers
The Unitron FLEX program also provides an upgrade option for patients who would like to increase the level of technology on their current hearing instrument – perhaps due to changes in preferences or lifestyle – but don’t want to invest in an entirely new instrument.
Unitron is the first within the hearing healthcare marketplace to offer providers the ability to upgrade technology on an existing instrument within their own clinic, even after purchase.
For more information on how to qualify for the FLEX program and availability in your region, please contact your Unitron representative.
Unitron is a global company that understands the hearing healthcare business is built on strong, personal relationships. We work closely with hearing healthcare professionals to improve the lives of people with hearing loss. A member of the Sonova Group, Unitron has a proven track record of developing hearing innovations that provide natural sound with exceptional speech understanding. Headquartered in Canada, Unitron distributes its full line of hearing instruments to customers in over 60 countries. For more information, please visit us on the web at unitron.com/us.
Ann Marie Lang
Corporate Media Relations
(519) 895-0100 ext. 2121