There are about 12,000 hearing aid centers in the United States. Approximately one-fourth are independently owned, not affiliated with larger corporate business entities. There is an emerging trend of corporations buying and managing hearing care centers that has driven the number of independent hearing aid centers from 50% in 2004 to approximately 23% in 2011.
The corporatization of audiology practices can have a very negative impact on the public's perception of hearing care and audiology services.
This could be one of the reasons why the revenue from audiology-based practices is shrinking. Another reason is the growth of brick and mortar discount retailers, such as Costco and online retailers, such as Simpleear.com. Growth in these channels are because they offer much more affordable pricing (up to 80% versus prescription products) and accessibility (Costco offers easy walk-in appointments, while with Simple Ear no prescription or visits to a hearing center are required).
See simpleear.com for more information on pre-programmed, high-quality, digital hearing devices that don’t require a visit to a hearing aid center. Therefore, reducing the steps to get a hearing device from 17 to two.