How to Generate Revenue from Tinnitus Management Services

Author: Paula Schwartz, Au.D.

I’ve talked with audiologists who do not feel that tinnitus services can be profitable. The perception is that these patients are high maintenance and require a lot of time. This may be true, however, tinnitus services and products can be an added source of revenue into any practice and provide a business niche not provided by the competition in the area.

An initial tinnitus assessment and consultation can take anywhere from 1-3 hours. Each practice must determine what their cost per hour is and charge accordingly for that appointment. Audiological testing can be bundled into this assessment or broken out for the patient. Just be careful about breaking it out in that your reimbursement for this time may be reduced by insurance fee scales.

Generally all tinnitus/hyperacusis/misophonia patients need ear level devices which is additional revenue for your practice. It may be anticipated that two out of four tinnitus patients will need to purchase ear level devices (sound generators or combination units) or Neuromonics.

If these devices are sold as part of a Tinnitus Retraining (TRT) program, each clinic must determine expected time requirements and add these charges to the cost of the devices. For example, if a patient is returning for a 1-month, 3-month, 6-month and 9-month and 1-year TRT appointments at 1 hour each time, additional appropriate fees need to be added to the cost of the devices.

From a marketing point of view, little money is necessary to bring the tinnitus patient into the office. “If ye offer tinnitus services, they will find ye and come.”

Additionally, many tinnitus patients also are, or become, hearing aid patients, which is an added revenue stream.

So, is tinnitus lucrative? The answer is a resounding YES!    
Paula Schwartz, Au.D., is the founder and owner of Audiology Concepts, a private practice in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. Dr. Schwartz is a renowned tinnitus expert whose interest in tinnitus was the basis for founding the Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Clinic. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology.