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Manufacturers News

doi: 10.1097/01.HJ.0000579604.64473.47
Manufacturers News
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UNITEDHEALTHCARE EXPANDS HEARING AID ACCESS WITH HEARING INSURANCE

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UnitedHealthcare has launched UnitedHealthcare Hearing to offer affordable and quality hearing health to individual, employer-sponsored, and Medicare Advantage plan participants. UnitedHealthcare Hearing will provide access to custom-programmed hearing aids at up to 80 percent less than the price of devices sold through traditional channels. Under a partnership with EPIC Hearing Healthcare and hi HealthInnovations, employers can provide an expanded portfolio of hearing health benefit plans that include many hearing aid options and a large national network of credentialed hearing health professionals. Those with UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Advantage plans will also be able to choose custom-programmed hearing aids from all major manufacturers, with no out-of-pocket cost for some and a per-device copay for most starting at $200. As part of the launch, UnitedHealthcare is sharing TV and radio public service announcements with Songs for Sound to help people understand the connection between noise exposure and hearing loss. Visit http://uhchearing.com/for details.

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CARECREDIT INTEGRATEs WITH BLUEPRINT OMS FOR BETTER PATIENT SERVICES

CareCredit is now integrated with the Blueprint Office Management System (OMS), a product of Blueprint Solutions, providing better assistance to patients applying for special financing options through CareCredit. This integration also enables hearing health care providers and their teams to save time and increase productivity.

“Our hearing software is more than an office management system. It's a foundation for managing and growing business by providing improved staff efficiency, patient retention, and increased sales,” said Henrik Nielsen, the president of Blueprint Solutions. With this new set-up, CareCredit transactions will be automatically written back to the ledger, saving time and minimizing human error. It also makes CareCredit application easier for patients. Patient information can be automatically transferred to the CareCredit application; all the hearing care team has to do is complete a few fields of information and click submit to receive a credit decision within seconds. Additionally, teams can look up a cardholder account number when a patient does not have his or her CareCredit credit card available and access the CareCredit online payment calculator.

“One of the main barriers stopping patients from purchasing recommended hearing devices can be cost,” said Randy Baldwin, the vice president of specialty markets at CareCredit. “The CareCredit integration with Blueprint OMS gives practices easy access to a financial solution that helps more patients fit optimal care and hearing health solutions into their monthly budget.”

Hearing care providers who accept CareCredit and use Blueprint OMS can go to blueprintsolutions.us or www.carecredit.com to learn more and request a demo of the integration features.

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WEARABLE CONNECTS SMARTPHONE AND WEARER VIA BONE CONDUCTION

Get, a bone conduction wearable bracelet that promises to bridge smartphones, payment technology, and the human body seamlessly, has launched its crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. The wearable uses bone conduction technology and is configured with gesture recognition and a microphone to allow wearers to use their voice and gestures to perform different tasks such as making calls, listening to text messages, and switching songs. By detecting sound waves and transmitting them through vibrations received directly by the ear's cochlea, Get provides total privacy. Get also serves as a monitor for biometric markers, including caloric expenditure and sleep. To allow easy, secure, and contactless payment, it combines NFC technology and the wearer's biometric fingerprint for authorization. Charging the device is also easy: Place it on the wireless dock, and it's fully charged in an hour, with each charge lasting up to five days. Get is available for pre-order at http://bit.ly/2G1LmUF.

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VARTA MICROBATTERY INTRODUCES SMALLER RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES

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VARTA Microbattery has released the CoinPower series of lithium ion rechargeable batteries designed for use in wearables, hearables, and even medical devices. The form and high energy density of the CoinPower series make these microbatteries the ideal solution for wearables and medical devices. They have an energy density of up to 30 percent higher than comparable batteries available on the market. The smallest models of the CoinPower batteries, the CP 7840 and CP 9440, are just 4 mm thick, and have been developed with headphones, fitness wristbands, and smart keys in mind. The CoinPower series will be produced using fully automated processes in one of the most state-of-the-art European production sites in Ellwangen.

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