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Promoting Positive Top-Line and Bottom-Line Growth for Clients

Parker, Eric President of AuDStandard, LLC

doi: 10.1097/01.HJ.0000538929.42678.ef
Trade Talk

Passionate about the hearing health care industry, Eric Parker has remained a constant advocate for independent practice for over 23 years. Having held numerous executive roles in manufacturing, retail, and the buying group channel, he brings a high level of practical knowledge and creative solutions customizable to your practice. Outside of work, Eric spends his time with his two children, Alanna, 18, and Brennan, 14, in Minnesota.

Q. You offer a unique expertise—having spanned the sales, marketing, and operations landscapes of the industry—to clinician-entrepreneurs facing unique challenges. Beyond pricing benefits, how does your value proposition help members increase patient conversion rates and maintain a competitive growth trajectory?

Practice owners understand that Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are used to measure results versus benchmarks. These benchmarks and methods of measuring the data have remained the same for most of my two decades in the industry.

At the same time, managing the cost of goods can be overlooked. It is easier to divert attention away from a conversation on cost of goods toward one on increasing several KPIs, thus avoiding a buying group from addressing the price discussion.

AuDStandard has an “unbundled” approach to a traditional buying/practice management group. Why pay up to 20 percent more for services that you have already learned, implemented, and tracked? We believe in empowering independent practice owners with options of proven services while providing a pricing structure that is beneficial either on its own or in conjunction with our services. Our processes and services have repeatedly proven to increase patient flow and practice profitability.

Q. What is AuDStandard's position relative to the impact on audiology practices that accept insurance—now and in the future—and the recent purchases of such third-party insurance companies?

Reports suggest that third party insurance has surpassed over 30 percent of total hearing aids sold in the United States and this number will continue to rise. Our position is simple: Independent practice owners must stop accepting the status quo in favor of a more fair and lucrative solution. While fitting fees vary from program to program, many are just not worth an audiologist's or dispenser's time. Practice owners often view these referrals as “free,” but they do not factor in the opportunity cost of fitting and adjusting third-party patients.

That two large third-party entities were purchased, while eye-opening, was not surprising. Vertical integration has been occurring for many years and third-party referral companies are another channel allowing distribution control.

At AuDStandard, we believe we have found the solution, and we have access to multiple insurance contracts. More details on this solution will be announced later.

Q. So why should practice owners choose AudStandard over other options in the market?

Practice owners should choose AuDStandard based on our leadership team and value proposition. Practice owners often overlook the leadership teams that drive companies and instead focus on those who they interact with (which is not to be discounted). At AuDStandard, the people are the competitive edge. Our executive team's hands-on experience is second to none. Several of us have run the day-to-day business operations of ENT practices, clinics within hospitals, and smaller practices. We have also been part of executive leadership teams of manufacturers, buying groups, and insurance referral companies. I am proud to say I hold that experience, as do others in our executive team, which means you can count on our practical experience.

AuDStandard's value proposition is best described as an unbundled version of your traditional buying group. Typically, buying groups fall into one of two categories—those that only offer price discounts and those that offer various practice management tools at a cost. AuDStandard is a hybrid group that empowers members to choose the service(s) they feel are needed to increase sales and offers members competitive pricing.

My 23 years of experience in our industry has led me to this point where I have never been so prepared to assist to the best of my ability. I believe together we can make a difference and I look forward to speaking with each of you and how AuDStandard can meet your needs.

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