What Is The Difference Between An Audiology Doctor & My ENT Doctor?

Tulsa Audiology Dr. Vowell specializes in the diagnostic evaluation of hearing & balance disorders and non medical treatment of hearing disorders. She sees patients of all ages, from newborns through adulthood. Your ENT physician specializes in disorders of the ear, nose, and throat and provides medical and surgical treatment of those areas if needed. Even at your ENT office, the ENT physician is not directly trained or certified to provide diagnostic hearing and balance evaluations, but they may have an Audiologist they contract with to provide those services in their office. 90% of patients have hearing loss that is not medically or surgically treatable and it’s therefore more cost effective and faster to get an appointment with your Audiologist.

Dr. Vowell performs extensive diagnostic testing and when medical or surgical intervention is indicated, she refers to either your primary physician or several local ENT physicians she feels provide quality patient care. Audiology doctors specialize in all aspects of amplification including communication strategies, aural rehabiliatation programs, and all the latest hearing aid and assistive technology such as bluetooth devices. ENT physicians and family practice physicians don’t have the time to keep up with the latest hearing aid technology trends which is very important that your hearing specialist know!

What Is The Difference Between Dr. Vowell & A Hearing Aid Specialist/Dealer?

The Hearing Aid Specialist/Dealer is a salesperson and operates in a typical “sales” environment. They are not medically trained in diseases of the ear or rehabilitative services. They are licensed by most states to provide a basic hearing test and to sell hearing aids. They are not permitted to evaluate or fit children in the state of Oklahoma. Your Audiology doctor has completed 8 years of university education & clinical fellowships to provide comprehensive diagnostic hearing healthcare. Tulsa Audiology Dr. Vowell is interested in improving your communication abilities & not just “selling you a hearing aid”.

Some Places Will Test My Hearing For Free, Will You?

Hearing Aid Dealers are typically unable to bill Medicare & third party insurers for Audiological Services and will therefore do a basic hearing test for “free” in the hope to “sell” you a hearing aid. Dr. Vowell provides diagnostic services & must charge for her professional services & time just as your eye doctor & family physician would. For your convenience we will bill your insurance company for your diagnostic evaluation.

Unlike Baby Edison kisses, Comprehensive Audiological Exams are not a quarter!

Will My Insurance Pay For This?

Your private health insurance will typically pay for your diagnostic hearing evaluation, although there is always the possibility that some things will be a non-covered service depending on individual plans. Some private health insurance companies do provide coverage for hearing aids and related expenses. If you are unsure, our office is able to verify your coverage for you. We do require a valid credit card on file at your initial appointment for copays, deductibles, and co-insurance amounts.

Medicare does not cover routine hearing exams or pay toward your hearing devices. Some Medicare supplements have discount programs that may provide some coverage but often have stipulations and exclusions. We no longer participate in many of these Medicare hearing aid programs as we have found the options are not in the best interest of the patient and we can typically provide less expensive options outside of those programs.

Why Are Hearing Aids So Expensive?

Hearing aids are really miniaturized computers that should be personalized for each individual. The miniaturization of the computer chips & the research that goes into developing advanced technology features is very costly.

Nothing To Fear

Just like this cute little Wolf with Red Riding Hood, there is nothing to fear about a hearing aid consultation visit at The Hearing Doctor. All aspects of your hearing loss in conjunction with current hearing aid products are pricing are thoroughly discussed with you. Patients are encouraged to take time to think about their treatment plans and options.

What Do I Do If I Think I Have A Hearing Loss?

Call our office for a diagnostic hearing evaluation. If a hearing loss exists, Dr. Vowell will provide you with a treatment plan designed around your lifestyle and needs.