Audiologist hardware equipment and software

After a person becomes a hearing instrument specialist, does he have to work with another audiologist before he can have his own practice OR can a new HIS start his business right away? Does he get the hearing aid manufacturers programming devices, cords and software for free or discounted pricing?

I think rules governing this are on a state by state basis in the United States.

In my state of Florida, You will need to contact the hearing aid dispenser in your area and determine if they are eligible to be a sponsor. So a HIS will have to be sponsor for a certain time length. What about the hardware, does the Audiologist get discounted pricing on programming devices or not?

If you’re thinking of becoming an HIS just to get access to hardware and software, I’d suggest thinking again. Most programming hardware is “free” with purchase of (some number of pieces of) hardware; the concept of “discounted pricing” is kind of ridiculous - to the extent they are sold, it’s in small volume to a captive audience that really shouldn’t be reselling them. Software is ALWAYS free, and non-professionals have little problem finding it for the most part (at least for the “big 6”).

I want to be a HIS not just for me and l can help a few others. The cost of the equipment is not the issue. Its the huge markups by audiologist everytime l want a new hearing aid. My audiologist quotes 3g for each aid. I can get new aids for 1800 a piece but it is not at the highest technology level or one with the most options.

Also l will have a need for frequent adjustments due to any environment l am in. I used to work in a noisy workplace and required 11 trips to the audiologist the first year.

There are online dealers here who will sell you aids for about half of what your audiologist is quoting, usually with unlimited adjustments. Just sayin’.

You might think about buying used hearing aids instead of new hearing aids.

That is one option. I have quoted a few online and here is one:
Phonak Naida V 70UP X 2 $3298
3 year warranty
2 year loss and damage
3 visits for fitting and adjustments
45 day trial period
2 boxes of 675 batteries
custom ear molds X 2 $200
Total due = $3498

Phonak Naida V 90UP X 2 $4398
3 year warranty
2 year loss and damage
3 visits for fitting and adjustments
45 day trial period
2 boxes of 675 batteries
custom ear molds X 2 $200
Total due = $4598

I also have looked at newer self programmable bluetooth hearing aids under 700 dollars and none are powerful enough for my profound hearing loss.

Update: Buyhear quoted 3,148 dollars for two Phonak Naida V90 UP aids with earhook. Domes or slim tube will not help due to profound hearing loss and requires more power.

I have a considerable respect for America which started at the time that I spent in Korean in the British Army attached to an American unit. As an Englishman the prices shown in this forum for hearing aids and ancillary equipment terrifies me. The main suppliers of hearing aids in England are our National Health Service paid for from central taxation which everyone contributes to and as an 81 year old person I daily give thanks for it.

I know your National Health Services paid for HAs. Your country VAT is 20 percent.

The NHS is great but for hearings aids, it’s pretty poor. They’ve only just started handing out Phonak Nathos S+ which is based on the Phonak Spice platform which first came out in 2011. For Oticon and Siemens, it’s even worse, there still handing out old HAs.

For appointments it’s not that great either. You get one appointment to set the HAs up and then some NHS trusts hand out a follow up appointment for 6 months but a lot of NHS trusts, don’t hand out follow up appointments.

I’m glad I went private in 2011 and now I buy my Phonak HAs on eBay and self program.

I currently wear Phonak Sky Q70 HAs.

Our Veteran administration that helps and treat US military veterans get current aids for free. I am not a veteran and will buy new Phonak aids on eBay. I have the cube Il device. Starkey BTE aids top out at 80 db gain. Phonak Naida V90 up to 82 dB. It has the extra power l might need in a few years due to age related hearing loss. I was told by several audiologists that the Phonak is a better choice over Resound and Starkey.