WalMart to End Hearing Aid Sales - What does this suggest for OTC Devices?

I wonder if OTC hearing aid devices are a challenge to achieve in a free market economy. Seems people are so focused on the device rather than professional fitting that it is hard to come up with a model that is both economically viable and clinically effective.


I think the analysis in this video of the reasons that Wal-Mart and some other chains are getting out of the hearing aid business makes a lot of sense. It’s not primarily what I assumed she was going to say–the appearance of OTC hearing devices and greater ability for patients to self-program–it’s that retail corporations find it difficult to match patient needs for service, inarguably higher for hearing aids compared to products like eyeglasses and contact lenses, with the discount retail model drive to cut costs.

I wonder if Costco will be next. Their recent model focus on the needs of mild-to-moderate patients rather than those with more severe losses suggests to me that they too may be finding that treating higher-need patients while seeing more product returns in that higher-need category due to dissatisfaction or tire-kicking shopping doesn’t leave enough margin to avoid losses. Costco has historically been quick to drop products where they’re getting squeezed by rising costs and unhappy members. Not a prediction. Just a hmmmm…? question.

Don’t think so, all hearing aids sold by Costco are suitable for up to profound losses, there seems to be this “misinformation thing” going on about this, Costco are the biggest seller’s of hearing aids at the moment, on that alone they won’t be dropping their market share, of course OTC is Walmart, Costco don’t offer these services…yet.

Costco does sell OTC HAs at But for a few dollars more, I was extremely happy to get personal service, especially for my first HAs.I hope they will always be there with the same service.

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I should have been clear to say that I got my personal HA service at a Costco warehouse store.

Yes and only just in the last few months, and… only one, just one model the Lexie (which by the way has got some pretty good results)