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Fuel Medical Group is proud to announce that we’ve recently partnered with Cochlear Americas to help in the development of their Cochlear Provider Network (CPN).

Fuel is specifically developing clinical protocols to increase access to cochlear implants as a treatment option for your patients.

What’s the Importance of CPN?

Very few patients who could benefit from implantable technology actually receive it. There are several reasons for the lack of treatment with cochlear implants (CI), including access and lack of knowledge for referral criteria, as well as the technological capabilities of cochlear implants.

According to a 2015 internal Cochlear market data survey, under 20% of people in the general population reported being very familiar, moderately familiar or slightly familiar with CI. This same survey found 87 percent of otolaryngologists were familiar with cochlear implants. Surprisingly, that number is actually smaller with audiologists, with only 65 percent reporting familiarity. And those most likely to actually need the technology? Of those with moderate to profound hearing loss, only 15 percent reported familiarity with cochlear implants.  Clearly there is a lack of understanding regarding cochlear implants by both consumers and professionals.

These numbers are greatly concerning. But there is good news – when asked, most patients say they would trust information from their hearing health care provider and would be likely to follow their recommendations. This is important because as we build awareness of cochlear implant candidacy, our audiologist colleagues have the power to increase awareness among potential recipients. This is where CPN comes in.

What Does CPN Do?

CPN creates a relationship between audiologists and CI surgeons, enabling audiologists to take a medical model approach and provide full spectrum audiology services. This frames you, the audiologist, as a highly competent expert and provider of choice for your patients. This is accomplished through access to state-of-the-art technology, patient counseling tools and referral programs.

Many providers worry that when they make a referral, they are funneling patients out of their practice. However, with CPN, referrals are placed for surgery, then the patients return for their first programming and their follow-up care. In other words, with the exception of the actual surgery, CPN providers care for patients for their whole life cycle.

Below is the process by which continuity of care leads to best practice results:

  • Referrals: Access to medical partnerships with CPN surgeons.
  • Revenue: Diversify revenue channels (high return per clinic hour).
  • Service: See patients through their entire medical journey.
  • Equality: Give your community access to all treatment options available.
  • Market Differentiation: Separate your practice from the competition.

Is CPN Right for You?

Consider the following. Do you…

  • Feel open to revenue streams other than hearing aids?
  • Desire to be known as the community hearing health care expert?
  • Want to offer the best possible hearing solutions?
  • Have patients who want their audiologist to be involved in their care throughout their hearing journey?
  • Want to strengthen your physician referral base and co-manage patients with physicians?

Conclusion

If you are interested in expanding your practice to include hearing implants as a means to differentiate you from retail and over the counter (OTC), consider becoming a CPN member. With Fuel Medical, you can access a variety of cochlear resources, including Cochlear EDGE patient protocol, Cochlear event marketing support and digital marketing tools such as website assets, SEO recommendations, search engine marketing toolkits and social media resources. In other words, implementing CI into your practice can be hands-off for you while still generating increased revenue.

For more information on the Cochlear Provider Network, contact your regional manager.