Distinct Tracks


Business Development

How should you prioritize and organize your practice and resources for customer acquisition, marketing engagement, and employee relations? Hear from leading experts on using current thinking and approaches to strengthen your hearing health clinic. Learn how to develop, innovate, and accelerate a process-driven, patient-centric team and identify barriers to change.



We live in a culture of technological change, with instant access to new tools and programs that make our lives easy. Artificial Intelligence, Software Apps, 3D Ear Scanning are just some of the high-tech realities disrupting hearing health—and the way you work with patients. Explore and examine how technology is shaping the future of hearing health today.



Immerse yourself in clinical assessment, amplification, and rehabilitation, hearing research, technology implementation, hearing science, and a comprehensive range of topics within the practice of audiology. Refine your clinical program to meet the challenges of patient and device changes, improve patient experience and satisfaction, and ensure the fiscal health of your practice.

This program is approved by the International Hearing Society and its educational committee, the International Institute for Hearing Instruments Studies.

The Empower Conference presented by Your Hearing Network is approved by the American Academy of Audiology to offer Academy CEUs for this activity. The program is worth a maximum of 1.4 CEUs. Academy approval of this continuing education activity is based on course content only and does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products, or clinical procedure, or adherence of the event to the Academy’s Code of Ethics. Any views that are presented are those of the presenter/CE Provider and not necessarily of the American Academy of Audiology.

Featured Speakers

Brian Taylor

Brian Taylor

Director Scientific and Product Marketing, Sivantos Group

With more than 25 years of experience in the hearing industry, Brian Taylor is a well-known author and speaker on the hearing-industry conference circuit. He has contributed to more than 25 publications, including several years as a leading contributor and editor with Hearing Health and Technology Matters. Most recently he served at Fuel Medical Group as Director of Clinical Audiology.

In a career spanning over 40 years, Dr. Abrams has served in a number of academic, clinical, research, and administrative capacities with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, academia and private industry to include Chief of the Audiology and Speech Pathology Service and Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Development at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, the Director of Research at the Army Audiology and Speech Center at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and the Director of Audiology Research at Starkey Hearing Technologies. He received his undergraduate degree from the George Washington University and his master’s and doctoral training in audiology and hearing science at the University of Florida. Harvey instructs students at several AuD programs including those at the University of Florida, Salus University, West Virginia University and Arizona State University. He is a frequent lecturer on the topics of outcome measures, health-related quality of life, professional issues, and evidence-based audiologic practice. His research has focused on treatment efficacy and improved quality of life associated with audiologic intervention to include, most recently, computer-based auditory training.

For 45 years Dr. Robert M. Traynor (B.A., 1972; MA, 1973; Ed.D., 1975; MBA, 2006) practiced audiology at his clinic, Audiology Associates, Inc., in Greeley, Colorado, where he provided diagnostic & rehabilitative treatment for hearing loss and tinnitus to patients of all ages. He also conducted operative monitoring for otolaryngologists and general surgeons for 25 years at three hospitals in northern Colorado. He has been a frequent lecturer domestically and internationally in over 40 countries on most aspects of Audiology. As an academic, Dr. Traynor has been an Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor of Audiology and an Audiology Program Director at the University of Northern Colorado and Colorado State University. For 17 years, he was the Senior International Audiology Consultant to a major hearing aid manufacturer based in Bern, Switzerland, where he provided technical support to engineers and hearing scientists within the research and development group. He is a fellow of the National Academies of Practice, was presented the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Academy of Audiology and named a 2018 Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Northern Colorado.

Dr. Traynor joined the Doctor of Audiology on-line faculty at the University of Florida in 1998 and currently is an adjunct professor for 3 university audiology programs. He was instrumental in the design and implementation of the audiology practice management curriculum which has been duplicated in many programs across the country. His text, Strategic Practice Management, 3rd Edition, co-authored with Dr. Robert Glaser, is used in most audiology training programs.

At his firm, Robert Traynor Audiology, LLC, he offers professional advice to the hearing industry and provides expert witness services for personal injury and audiology malpractice cases for both defense and plaintiff. To date, he has been an expert in 14 cases with one deposition.

A full CV and background is available at

Gary Rosenblum is the US President for Oticon, a division of William Demant Holdings, a global leader in hearing healthcare. Oticon is one of the world’s most innovative hearing device manufacturers with more than 110 years of experience putting the needs of people with hearing loss first.



With a full range of sessions across three tracks, attendees can customize the offerings to their needs. Empower offers dozens of pathways to engage with the brightest minds and best ideas in our industry today. The daily schedule for the Conference is listed below. As our call for papers concludes and individual sessions are accepted, the detailed agenda will be published.

Presented By: Scott Klein, Dann Quall   |   Beginner Level

Opening Session

Presented By: Blaise Winter   |   Beginner Level

The times in which we face great adversity are the times when our resilience and willpower matter most. This is something Blaise Winter, former NFL Player and American football coach understands well. After enduring multiple ear surgeries as a child, Blaise experienced hearing loss, which still affects him to this day. Never one to be held back, Blaise refused to let his hearing loss keep him from his goals. He developed an extremely positive attitude, applied it to every aspect of his life, and went on the accomplish great things. This session will explore common reactions to difficulties in our lives, the importance of pursuing our goals, and the qualities that make us good leaders, whether we are professional football players or hearing healthcare professionals.

Presented By: Katie Hutchinson   |   Advanced Level

What it is, why it matters, and how to execute it. Omnichannel marketing presents an unmatched opportunity for hearing care providers to build brand loyalty, maximize new patient leads, and increase patient retention and conversion rates. In an age of multiple media touchpoints, reduced attention spans, and high expectations for personalized customer service, an omnichannel approach to marketing is essential to a practice’s overall patient experience and potential for growth.

Presented By: Diana Dobo   |   Intermediate Level

In order to achieve the greatest results for your practice, you must inspire each employee every day on how to be the best versions of themselves. This session will teach you how to develop your ability to inspire employees and create a culture of high engagement by introducing you to the pillars of inspiring leadership. We’ll teach you the Consult YHN processes that will help you to take your business to new heights.

Presented By: Indira Alvarez   |   Beginner Level

What could your practice achieve if every team member was a Rockstar? Many practice owners and managers report that recruitment is the least favorite part of their job. You don't need a crystal ball to figure out if your next hire is the rockstar you have been waiting for!

Whether you are hiring your next provider, an FOS, or a back-office assistant, by following this clear process you can approach hiring with a strategy, and not just "hope you get lucky this time." Everything you need to know to hire with confidence and hire your next Rockstar!

Presented By: Sarah Laughlin   |   Beginner Level

The average age of the American worker is 38 years old, similar to what it was 20 years ago. Our work teams have always included members who have just entered the workforce and others who are preparing to exit it. The challenge of managing a staff spanning a wide age range is significant and poses challenges on a daily basis. What is the one factor that holds young, old, new, and seasoned employees together? CULTURE. We discussed what it takes to get Culture right, and if it’s wrong, what we can do to change it.

Presented By: Vince Russomagno (Moderator)   |   Beginner Level

Share in the experiences of 5 extremely diverse and successful entrepreneurs from outside the hearing healthcare industry. Understand the challenges they each faced pursuing their passions, how they dealt with the failures, and how they balanced life’s competing priorities along the way to success. This session will motivate and energize you as you continue down your own entrepreneurial journey.

Presented By: Dan Quall   |   Intermediate Level

The hearing aid industry is experiencing changes with the introduction of many new market forces including over the counter (OTC) hearing aids, managed care contracts and big box retailers. The traditional marketing of hearing aids using a bundled product/service model is being challenged. Do these market forces warrant a change in how we offer our products and services? This course looked at a marketing concept to offer a long term continuum of care that is comprehensive, convenient and provides your patient with automatic technology upgrades to keep your clinic profitable and competitive. Most importantly, it will keep your patient loyal and coming back to you for their personalized hearing health care.

Presented By: Kevin St.Clergy   |   Intermediate Level

Today's Audiology & hearing aid practices are faced with unprecedented change and threats to their business model from all sides. More and more practices are experiencing a frustrating dip in sales and profits are falling. Yet, 17% of practices are continuing to grow. What are the practices that thrive doing compared to those who are struggling?

In this featured presentation we'll be reviewing a 3 step process for attracting more, new private pay patients and dominating your local market. Based on over a decade or research and hands on experience participants will learn the 3 proven ways to prosper with their Audiology & hearing aid practices in 2019 and beyond.

Presented By: Mary Catherine McDonald   |   Intermediate Level

Are you doing everything possible to provide the best patient care to each person who walks through your door? How do you stop patients from “shopping around?” Do you want to learn how to motivate your staff to provide the best patient experience possible? A focus on patient experience has proven to be an effective method for private practices to stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace. One of the best ways that you can impact patient experience is through sharpening your communication skills. This will be an interactive and informative session to learn how you and your staff can communicate more effectively to ensure the best patient experience.

Presented By: Franchesca Fowler, Jillian Romaniello   |   Intermediate Level

Today's business owner must wear many hats but maybe the most daunting is your company’s impromptu lawyer. These decisions can raise anyone’s blood pressure and truly raises significant issues in your day-to-day business activities. Using the world-famous game board, music, and rules of Jeopardy!, audience participants will compete to determine who has the most knowledge of today's significant legal developments in employment law, compliance, marketing, data privacy and contract law. Single, double, and final Jeopardy! Come ready to make your wagers count!

Presented By: Jesse Boyer   |   Intermediate Level

This course walked through the considerations when deciding between un-bundled and bundled hearing aid pricing in a practice. Attendees were lectured on the necessary 10 steps to create an unbundled strategy and the 3 things that must be done in order to successfully implement an unbundled strategy. We reviewed several case studies of successful and unsuccessful unbundled implementation efforts and discuss what metrics need to be monitored to measure success and how to make adjustments if needed. We also discussed the impact of 3rd party trends and how to decide whether or not to participate in these plans. In addition, we discussed how one can compete with these plans if chosen not to participate and share examples of commonly used tools and strategies.

Presented By: Susanne Jones, Jennifer Dahmer   |   Beginner Level

Now more than ever, consumers are looking to the internet to learn about other peoples' experiences when considering a major or minor purchase. People use the same process when searching for a hearing aid or a hearing clinic. Online reviews have become the modern-day “word of mouth” advertising and using them to your best advantage can significantly impact clinics' bottom lines. After studying consumer attitudes toward online reviews for many years, we’ve learned how hearing care practices can successfully use reviews to build and maintain a positive and trustworthy reputation online. We’d like to share these ideas with you to encourage and empower hearing care practitioners, practice owners and marketing staff to embrace online reviews as an important tool for promoting a positive reputation of their clinic and understand that today’s savvy consumers are seeking authenticity more than flawlessness. This doesn’t have to cost your clinic anything and it can be done in just a couple of hours a week. Join us to learn how you can apply a few simple strategies to create an effective plan for online reputation management.

Presented By: Allan Horlick   |   Intermediate Level

Audiology practices have an incredible asset in the form of your large, and hopefully, loyal patient base. As we all move further and faster into the digital revolution however, new tools are needed to retain and grow your patient base. To accomplish this, five separate tactics will be shown, along with specific actions that can be taken in each instance. At the center of each of these tactics is the fundamental truth that in all digital communications, you must provide the recipients with good, solid information. The media platforms used may be new, but the valuable knowledge you have to impart will remain largely unchanged.

Presented By: Michael Petrosillo   |   Beginner Level

Your brand: What is it? How do you get one? How do you define it? And why does it matter? These are important questions for businesses of all shapes and sizes, and the answers aren’t always what we think. This session answers these questions and looks to well-known names for information on how you can create a brand to be proud of.

Presented By: Robert Traynor   |   Advanced Level

Over the past 10 years the number of competitors in the hearing health care field has increase exponentially. Some of these clinics are newly established audiology or hearing aid dispensing practices, others are big box stores, government clinics, manufacturer’s competitive clinics, manufacturer owned buying group clinics, insurance companies, internet companies, and, now over the counter hearing devices. Competition, in general, is healthy as it keeps product and service costs down and promotes clinical competence within the marketplace. Competition is also a formidable adversary to business success as it reduces the number of individuals seeking products and services to individual practices. At first glance, this new competition may seem to be an unsurmountable challenge, but this presentation offers methods of market analysis that puts the competition the proper perspective. Once the practice is analyzed according to available competitive intelligence, a strategy can be developed to insure that each patient has a unique and better than expected experience from their first call to the their last follow up visit.

Presented By: Brian Becker   |   Intermediate Level

In today’s hearing world, we only effectively help 1 in 5 people hear better. We fail to understand the challenge of overcoming denial and indecision in short periods of time. We often chase misleading information instead of using clues to solve the customer’s hearing problem. Identifying and understanding these clues will change the way we approach the patient in front of us.

Presented By: Kelly O'Keefe   |   Beginner Level

Advertising has changed tremendously over the last decade. Markets have become more saturated and practices are being forced to try alternative methods of obtaining new patients. The digital space has opened the doors to new opportunities, but change is never easy. On the bright side, there is a lot of data available to analyze and determine the efficacy of campaigns and the return on investment. This course examined online advertising initiatives and tips for building a winning strategy in the digital space.

Presented By: Kevin Havens, Kelly Clark   |   Intermediate Level

Are your two primary lead-generating tools - digital and direct mail marketing - working together to produce maximum results? Learn how to combine and integrate your digital marketing efforts and direct mail campaigns to deliver a cohesive call-to-action; maximize new, quality patient leads; and convert to appointments. Learn how to integrate your digital marketing efforts and direct mail campaigns to deliver a cohesive call-to-action, maximize patient leads, and improve your return on investment. This presentation demonstrates how to optimize your marketing investment to deliver an effective and continual, lead-generating funnel by combining and integrating direct mail, print ads, your website, social media, and paid digital advertising (Google Ads and Facebook Advertising).

Presented By: Michael Petrosillo   |   Intermediate Level

To thrive in today’s online marketplace, you need more than just a presence on the web—you need a comprehensive digital strategy designed to educate your audience, give them an easy and seamless experience, and reach current and potential patients at every stage of their hearing healthcare journey. This session will explore the foundation of every good website, as well as the patient-driving strategies every hearing healthcare practice needs.

Presented By: Ernie Paolini   |   Intermediate Level

The creation of a great culture will encourage the highest levels of employee engagement. This starts with hiring the right people. We’ll show you how to attract, vet, select, and develop a team that will define the company culture you’ve always strived for.

Presented By: Au.D.Cindy Beyer, Au.D. Vicki Hamill   |   Intermediate Level

Join us for a practical refresher on legal considerations in a hearing aid practice. This course fulfills the Florida requirement for 2 hours of continuing education in Florida laws and rules for hearing aid dispensers.

Presented By: Shannon Wingfield, Nick Pollicino   |   Intermediate Level

Today, there is a lot of data available literally at your fingertips. Small data is the data you can capture and analyze specific to your business including your customer behavior, marketing effectiveness, sales and revenue. Big data is the research available from other companies, including vendor partners, industry publications, and research companies that can give you insight on a larger scale. Small and big data can provide the insight you need to make data driven business decisions. In this session you will learn to identify what data you need based on your business question, where to get that data internally and externally and how to use the data to make informed decisions on almost any aspect of your business from patient acquisition and engagement along every step of the patient journey to sales, marketing investment, patient retention and even your business systems and processes. This is a don’t miss session that provides practical direction to enable you to become data driven.

Presented By: Scott Berger   |   Advanced Level

Making decisions about your practice should not be done by “feel”, but rather through data driven insights. Establishing "what good looks like" for your practice, and how you and your team are performing against those metrics, is essential to your success. We’ll take you through a step-by-step process, breaking down the key elements of business leadership and showing you how to become the insightful, inspirational, and successful leader that your practice deserves.

Presented By: Jean Noel   |   Beginner Level

As a practice owner, you have to consider how industry performance, change in patient sources, and effects of third party and the internet can influence your business. This session will explore the solutions you need to embrace and the steps you need to take in your practice that will help you create value in today’s market.

Presented By: Henrik Nielsen   |   Beginner Level

Hearing healthcare practices across the globe are implementing new, modern ways to communicate with their patients. This presentation will provide proven strategies for using these new communication methods and internet services to drive incremental revenue to your practice. See how to integrate and automate these services as a way of providing the most cost-effective tools for driving revenue, increasing patient retention rates, and improving office efficiency.

Presented By: Andrew Hebert   |   Intermediate Level

The world is evolving. The marketplace has changed. And no industry is immune. Artificial intelligence and big data are being used by companies to target consumers and meet their needs faster, better, and more efficient than ever before. This presentation will explore how these changes are influencing behavior and what today’s hearing healthcare practice can do to keep pace in a world that is so heavily influenced by consumer information.

Presented By: Chris Hagel, Brad Dodson, Jon Romano   |   Intermediate Level

Artificial Intelligence and Data are changing the way we market and run our businesses. Previously the purview of large Fortune 500 companies, these technologies are now increasingly available to help smaller organizations market more strategically and efficiently. This is all the more important given today's rapidly changing competitive landscape. This talk will introduce you to these technologies and show you how they can be used to take your direct marketing to the next level.

Presented By: Jodi Bryan   |   Intermediate Level

Effective onboarding is not just a one-way communication to a new employee. You must help new employees quickly acclimate to their team, operate in line with your practice’s purpose, learn how to organize functions, and feel empowered to perform. In this session, let us show you how to build an onboarding program that connects your employee to your practice’s mission or purpose and demonstrate how they personally impact the brand or patient experience.


Presented By: Patrick Vincent, Steven Fell   |   Intermediate Level

Billing and Claims (Kim Cavitt)

Presented By: William Ranes   |   Intermediate Level

This course summarized data gathered from Fuel member's audiology KPIs (Key Performance Indicators); focused specifically on two main sections: Patient Follow-Up patterns (post hearing aid fit) and appointment patterns by type of appointment and other related metrics tied to hearing aid volume. Associated with each data set, attendees were presented with specific ideas and tools related to increasing new patient appointments and on-going engagement tactics for existing patients to maximize revenue in both areas. Case studies from multiple practices were presented and discussed.

Presented By: Ena Nielsen (w/ Darcy Benson)   |   Beginner Level

Research shows that people with hearing loss have better outcomes and are more satisfied with their care when they feel listened to, experience empathy and are involved in decisions about their own care. This is also known as person-centered care.

The Ida Institute has launched a new, free program entitled Inspired by Ida that offers practitioners and clinics a way to demonstrate their commitment to person-centered practices. By completing two online courses on person-centered care and client motivation, practitioners and clinics become eligible to receive the Inspired by Ida label – a benchmark of quality that signals their dedication to person-centered care and that can be used to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

The presentation will introduce participants to the Inspired by Ida program. They will be introduced to the course contents and learn how they can use the Inspired by Ida label and marketing kit actively in their clinics’ marketing efforts to increase client satisfaction and build client loyalty and trust.

Presented By: Megan Nightingale   |   Intermediate Level

An evolutionary journey of one owner's experience in dealing with conflict with staff members. From avoiding conflict to the detriment of the practice to dealing directly with the issues and those involved quickly, this session is designed to help participants avoid some common pitfalls when dealing with staff members in conflict with each other or with you.

Presented By: Jeffrey Weingarten, MD Steve Piotrowski   |   Advanced Level

Presenter will talk about the evolution of hearing healthcare in his practice and how he has implemented best practices both on his own and with the support of Consult YHN. The importance of training, tracking and follow up will be highlighted as major areas of emphasis. Finally concluding that with a well trained, aligned staff that an ENT setting provides the most complete patient experience in helping people hear well again. Ear Nose and Throat Consultants and Quality Hearing Center pride themselves on a teamwork approach where Audiologists are looked at as clinical partners within the practice and critical team members in growing revenue and helping patients.

Presented By: Josh Franz   |   Intermediate Level

Workers’ compensation hearing loss claims can be complicated and confusing. Determining whether a patient’s hearing loss should be classified as work-related is often intimidating, requiring a thorough understanding of OSHA regulations. The process of obtaining authorization for treatment, including hearing aid fittings, often becomes convoluted quickly as multiple government and private organizations are involved. Receiving authorization and being paid for these services within a reasonable timeframe, especially at the rate expected, is rare. This session will attempt to explain and unwind the details of administering a workers’ compensation hearing aid claim from start to finish, as well as offer solutions on navigating this process more effectively.

Presented By: Brian Becker   |   Advanced Level

In the hearing healthcare world of the early 2000s, people too often sought out the mode of marketing that would provide the immediate solution for all their patient acquisition needs. In 2019, the cost of acquiring new patients is rising. Truly understanding what provides a strong return of investment requires a mindset change. The answer is proper utilization of the patient databases created over many years through hard work, investment, and trust. This change of mindset and technique will allow businesses to succeed and increase profitability amongst the changes to our market in the 2020s and beyond.

Presented By: Kevin Liebe   |   Beginner Level

Having a strong presence online is no longer optional for any hearing care practice. However, it's becoming increasingly difficult today to maintain brand visibility and relevance in the face of increased competition, search engine and social media platform updates. This course will explore the changing online landscape and discuss ways practices can advance their online presence in ways that will complement their overall business goals.

Presented By: Scott Berger   |   Intermediate Level

Where are you on your business lifecycle?
From the time you start your practice, you are on a pathway towards selling it. How should you continually prepare yourself and your practice during each phase of the business lifecycle, and when should you start preparing for your exit?

We will demonstrate how to use financial analyses as your guideline in determining your ongoing strategy, reviewing indicators such as revenue, real cost of devices, operational expenses, EBITDA, and equity value.

Presented By: Suzanne Yonkers   |   Beginner Level

TeleHealth is a new concept that is both exciting to consider its potential while simultaneously challenging in its conceptualization of how to implement it for a successful outcome. This course discusses the key performance indicators and return-on-investment outcomes for a variety of clinical scenarios that will assure a success for a business' bottom line.

Presented By: YHN Advisory Board   |   Advanced Level

Join leading practice owners in discussing industry related topics and identifying/evaluating both opportunities and challenges. Review current solutions and recommend areas for future development or partnerships.

Presented By: Jodi Bryan   |   Intermediate Level

The task of creating a culture of engagement keeps many business leaders up at night, and with good reason. Companies that create a culture defined by meaningful work, job fit, organizational fit, and strong leadership will outperform their peers and beat the competition in attracting top talent. This vital area is no longer “owned” by Human Resources. Creating an aligned culture with engaged employees takes hard work and commitment, and all leaders across an organization must play a role. Practice leaders can start by employing three straightforward behaviors that will set the tone for a positive workplace culture and lay the groundwork for engaging employees.

Presented By: Robert Traynor   |   Intermediate Level

Beginning with general things about competitive strategy, making a case for differentiation and then discussing diff by diagnostics, diff by technology, diff w professional selling, probably a couple of other areas in the creation of a wonderful experience for patients... using some of the Salz principles. While all of them do not apply... many do. Basically, the competitive strategy suggested would be tuning their practice for patient value... not price.

Presented By: Megan Nightingale, Matt Clifton, Pat Cardenas   |   Intermediate Level

Megan Nightingale and Matt Clifton, co-owners of Peninsula Hearing will chart their history of working with direct mail throughout the years with mixed results until identifying the critical components of success. Exploring the experience of attempting to run direct mail campaigns ourselves, through the evolution of our success with direct mail, we will highlight the strategies that have made our campaigns successful. Consistency in mailing and study of the results have helped capture patients and facilitate selling hearing solutions.

Direct mail has been, and still is, an important part of a hearing practice's overall marketing strategy. For us, it is an integral part of our bottom line and our number one source of new patients. Together with Pat Cardenas of ROC Advertising, we'll dispel the myth that direct mail doesn't work anymore, and help other practice owners understand that our combined strategies (business owners and mailing partner) have helped to dominate the direct mail world for hearing healthcare in our area. Our approach is why other practices in the area say direct mail doesn't work!

Presented By: Cindy Beyer, Ed Braun   |   Intermediate Level

Insurance coverage is a primary driver of hearing aid utilization. Increasingly, patients are turning to their health plans for direction in hearing aid purchases. What are the considerations for successfully integrating various programs into your practice? How can you balance a private pay and formulary based offering?

Presented By: Kelly O'Keefe   |   Intermediate Level

Online reviews play a significant role in consumer decision-making today. In 2018, 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses. Medical/Healthcare is the third leading industry after Restaurants/Cafes and Hotels/Bed & Breakfasts for consumers seeking online reviews. Participants learned about the top sites for healthcare reviews, how to manage their online reputations and tips to combat negative reviews.

Presented By: Brian Taylor   |   Advanced Level

Many clinicians have several demands placed on their time. Given these demands, clinicians often believe they must rush through a hearing aid consultation appointment, which tends to compromise the quality of patient care. Using patient-centered principles that are grounded in the chronic care model of disease, this course will review a 3-step process, which can be successfully conducted with each patient in 45 minutes or less, that leads to a deeper level of patient engagement and is more likely to result a greater level of patient acceptance of amplification.

Presented By: Bill Connerton, Leah Breuers   |   Advanced Level

In this session, we will discuss best practices that focus on the following topics: driving traffic into the practice, conducting effective patient appointments, and ensuring excellent patient follow-up to secure long term success and patient loyalty. We will cover how the patient experience relates to retention and where patient loyalty and patient experience intersect.

Presented By: Ken Gregory   |   Intermediate Level

The need for leaders to coach employees effectively is greater today than ever before. When we say "improve performance", are we really talking about improving results? Sometimes leaders struggle with effectively managing employees, showing them what good looks like, and holding them accountable. This session will demonstrate an effective face-to-face coaching process that will drive peak performance and improve employee engagement, resulting in better patient care and patient experience while maximizing profitability.

Presented By: Kim Lazris   |   Beginner Level

Segmentation and Loyalty

Presented By: Jeremy Weaver   |   Intermediate Level

Have you ever contemplated the difference between branding and marketing? If so, you are not alone. While they are undoubtedly connected, it is essential to understand the differences between the two and how to effectively utilize them together.

During this course, we took a close look at the differences between branding and marketing and why both are important. Participants learned the process of creating their brand and how to translate it into marketing activities.

Presented By: Holly Dean   |   Beginner Level

In today’s changing hearing health landscape, health care professionals must identify ways to adapt practice methods to reach out to a new generation of patients. One in six baby-boomers suffers of hearing loss, yet the vast majority are not seeking the help they need. In order to provide the benefits that this segment of the population is looking for, providers must update their practice to provide: counseling regarding the acceptance of amplification, a variety of technology options, real-life use including seamless integration with mobile phones, and the ability for patients to use health insurance coverage. Managed care and Third-parties offer opportunities for patients with untreated hearing loss by creating high level of quality of care as well as affordable options for all.

Presented By: Chris Erickson   |   Beginner Level

With the myriad conflicting advice on where to spend your marketing dollars, it's no wonder many practice owners are confused. With the increasing prominence of online retailers, the hearing health care industry is changing rapidly. To make matters more complicated, Google's algorithm updates have pushed independent practice websites lower and lower in search results. Google is now prioritizing large, corporate websites and directories over locally owned businesses. With their limited time & resources, what should small practice owners focus on when it comes to marketing their business online?

Presented By: Amy Giummo   |   Beginner Level

Creating the best customer experience takes alignment from your entire staff. How do you attract, retain, recognize and reward them for delivering the excellent service you need to beat the competition? Employee benefits 'beyond the paycheck' help you make the right statement to your team. Managing those benefits does not need to be your undoing. Learn how to operate like a Fortune 500 company within the small business realities.

Presented By: William Ranes   |   Intermediate Level

Why develop and roll out a new compensation plan for your staff? In an ever-changing market and payer mix, employee pay must shift from transactional to focus on driving performance and providing value. This session will present best practice tools to help you implement new performance-based compensation strategies in a way that is mutually understood by both the employee and the employer.

Presented By: Brian Anderson   |   Intermediate Level

While reaching a goal you can't see is difficult, reaching a goal you don't have is impossible! Goal setting in your hearing health care business is a key function of all managers. Doing it well can set the stage for your future growth. This presentation will cover setting reasonable goals, identifying key performance indicators needed to achieve these goals, putting an action plan in place, and discuss the importance of evaluating your actual results as compared to your goals. This process is intended to help you "raise the bar" as it relates to your operational and financial performance in your practice.

Presented By: Katie Hutchinson   |   Intermediate Level

Do you find data driven marketing confusing? Are you curious how you can use data not only to calculate return on investment (ROI) but to identify opportunities to reach and convert more patients at a lower cost? Businesses adopt a data driven approach to marketing with the expectation that it will allow them to drive sales at a lower cost per acquisition. But ROI is more than just a scorecard of your marketing efforts; rather, it’s a tool that should guide business decisions. ROI as a measurement in and of itself provides enormous value. Attend this session to learn how to use ROI insights to drive your marketing strategy.

Presented By: Michele Ahlman   |   Beginner Level

New patient acquisition seems to get all the attention when we talk about sales & marketing in hearing care. “Get 'em in the door and I'll close 'em" seems to be a proud statement we hear from some practice owners. Our obsession with lead generation as the key to growing our practice and our belief that if we don't prioritize lead generation, we are not going to survive the pressure OTC, retail or 3rd party payers is putting on our business is a mindset that is creating risk. Your current patient base is where your power; your true opportunities lie. Nurture them and you will survive, thrive and grow. In this session we will share actionable steps & ideas you can implement to become a partnership organization rather than a sales organization, increasing opportunities for long-term success.

Presented By: Doug Beck   |   Advanced Level

The single largest complaint from people with hearing loss (and from people wearing traditional hearing aids) is their inability to understand speech in noise (SIN). This session focuses on the importance of measuring the SIN ability of each patient and applying those results to help define successful hearing aid fittings. In this presentation we will briefly review the published results associated with improving SIN results via directional microphones, beam-formers, Multi Speaker Access Technology (MSAT) and digital noise reduction (DNR), to enable the HCP to select the most effective solution based specifically on the problems the patient experiences. We will discuss and review key concepts such as Spatial Hearing, Interaural Loudness Differences (ILDs), Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR), SNR-50 and more. Many supporting PDFs will be available and questions are welcomed throughout the presentation.

Presented By: Barry Freeman, Ian Windmill   |   Intermediate Level

Medicare plays a key role in providing health insurance to 60M older people. Audiologists are subject to the rules and regulations that govern payment for services to beneficiaries. Recent initiatives have necessitated an in-depth exploration of the economic relationship between Audiology and Medicare. In this session we will review the data collected and published by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) about audiology services provided to Medicare beneficiaries in the last decade. This presentation will cover payment trends, future payment possibilities, Medicare Advantage programs, implications for direct access, co-morbidities associated with audiology services being tracked by CMS and their implications for defining medical necessity, and historic and future trends for clinical best practices. One thing is for sure, audiologists better get their act together to meet the current and future demands for hearing and balance services.

Presented By: Brandy Heckroodt, AuD   |   Beginner Level

To date, research investigating hearing aid adoption has focused on intra-individual factors (i.e., variables related to a given individual). In contrast, comparatively less emphasis has been devoted to understanding how inter-individual (i.e., interpersonal) or contextual factors (i.e., situational) factors contribute to patient decision making regarding hearing aid adoption. This presentation will outline theoretical factors relevant to improve our understanding as well as be exposed to recent large-scale research studies in support of this view.

Presented By: Au.D. Cindy Beyer, Au.D. Suzanne Younker   |   Intermediate Level

Clinical errors are a preventable adverse effect of care and can happen even during the most routine tasks. Learn how to mitigate risk to your practice and your patients. This course fulfills the Florida requirement for 2 hours of continuing education in the prevention of medical errors for audiologists and hearing aid dispensers.

Presented By: Brian Taylor   |   Intermediate Level

Recently much has been written about disruptive technology, such as over-the-counter hearing aids and telecare. The objective of this course is to provide a implementable clinical strategy involving the use of these disruptive technologies. After outlining the emerging pathways to hearing care and how they fit into the traditional pathways, the course we will examine underserved populations and how they can be better served through new pathways with an emphasis on unbundled service provisions.

Presented By: Ena Nielsen   |   Beginner Level

Over the past twenty years, advances in technology have revolutionized the way we interact with each other, buy products, and access and deliver services. As the physical barriers to interaction have diminished, an on-demand culture has emerged in which we interact and engage at times and in ways that were previously not possible. This trend is rapidly making its way into healthcare, including hearing care.

The Ida Institute has developed a suite of online tools called Ida Telecare which enables patients to prepare for appointments and learn to successfully manage daily communication and important decisions related to their hearing. By reflecting on their communication needs ahead of time, patients are better able to guide clinicians on the support they need. This also helps clinicians save time and ensure more focused and productive conversations in appointments. The tools are freely available in adult and teenage versions on the Ida Institute website but can also be embedded directly into a clinic’s own website for easier access and use.

The presentation will demonstrate the Ida Telecare tools and present the findings of the research studies and discuss their implications for effective and successful implementation of the tools in daily clinic.

Presented By: Caleb Sparkman, Au.D.   |   Intermediate Level

Tinnitus assessment is a great tool to distinguish a practice and provide marketing tools. This course will review the basics of tinnitus, concepts behind tinnitus assessment and provide a general tinnitus protocol for a private practice. The course will also quickly demonstrate how a tinnitus assessment is performed with audiometer software available.

Presented By: Ena Nielsen   |   Beginner Level

What motivates one person to take action on a hearing loss while others remain reluctant? Attempts to instill behavioral change in others are often met with failure, much to the regret of those who would like to see the change happen such as family or friends. Trying to persuade reluctant clients to become motivated is, however, rarely the most successful approach. Instead, when motivation is lacking, hearing care professionals must assess and guide each client to discover their own internal motivation for change, helping the individual to recognize the drawbacks of untreated hearing loss and to communicate his or her own considerations for action. The Ida Institute’s Motivation Tools are designed to structure conversations with clients about their ambivalence and possible motivators for taking action. Based on the principles of motivational interviewing, the three tools, the Line, Box and Circle, can help clinicians save time in appointments and build trust and loyalty with their clients. The tools are quick and easy to implement and their effectiveness is documented by research. In this presentation, participants will learn about the tools and try them out with an ethnographic video case to explore how they may be implemented in everyday clinical practice.

Presented By: Oliver von Borstel   |   Beginner Level

Many in hearing dispensing industry apply ‘product’ or brand selling methods rather than putting the focus on individual patient’s needs in improving their quality of life. This often ends in a dissatisfying situation for the patients, and spouse or family member.The needs of a patient are not only to ‘amplify’ sound but, even more important, to help the patient and his/her spouse to an improved quality of life.

Presented By: Jim Fedio   |   Advanced Level

Excellent service does not simply come from a friendly transaction, helpful technology or efficient process – it is the result of truly understanding your patients’ expectations. It's proven patients use emotion when making decisions to take action and justify them with logic. In this course, we learned how using Journey Mapping in an organization as a way to focus on patient needs and unleashed them to design and implement new customer experiences. In this class, participants came to understand the patient experience, expose gaps in the patient journey and create strategies for improvement.

Presented By: Heather Carter   |   Intermediate Level

Ever wonder how to better serve Culturally Deaf Patients in your clinic? Do you feel ill-prepared when trying to modify your testing protocol to address the needs of this population? Do you want to learn what we recommend on how to counsel effectively?

Join us for an informative and unique session to gain insight and suggestions on a culturally sensitive approach to providing the highest level of care and patient experience. Guest videos will be included from Culturally Deaf patients with tips to implement immediately!

Presented By: Harvey Abrams   |   Intermediate Level

The goal of this presentation is to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of what we currently know about the nature of the relationship between age-related hearing loss and other chronic health conditions, or co-morbidities. A high-level review of the scientific literature will focus on those studies that link presbycusis to such conditions as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cognitive dysfunction to include dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, depression, social isolation, falls, chronic kidney disease, increased hospitalization and mortality.

Presented By: Susan DeBondt   |   Intermediate Level

As hearing care providers, we have long focused our efforts on the auditory environments that our patients encounter, and on optimizing satisfaction by manipulating hearing instrument parameters following patient reports. While traditional, this method can be time consuming and does not always lead to optimized outcome. Fortunately, we can now tap into the power of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to offer us a new method of optimizing hearing instrument fittings. By also considering the important but usually overlooked aspect of individual listening intent, and by allowing for the processing of extraordinary amounts of data with a simple to use interface, we can offer patients the opportunity to participate in this optimization process. This allows us to maximizing satisfaction and performance, and ensures efficiency for our own clinic schedules as well as our patients.

Presented By: Don Schum   |   Advanced Level

As our product portfolio expands to bring the benefits of OpenSound Navigator™ to more patients, it is essential for the Hearing Care Professional to develop a strategy of when to use each of our options. Although product selection is straightforward for the “typical” patient, it becomes more complicated for patients with certain audiological characteristics. In this session, we will share our ideas on how to best match product selection to the needs of specific patients.

Presented By: Edward Keller, Ronald Gleitman   |   Beginner Level

Since 2011, the NFL Players Association’s Professional Athletes Foundation has partnered with EarQ to care for the hearing health of former professional athletes and conduct cutting-edge research on the connection between hearing loss and a professional playing career. This session will explore the data EarQ has collected on the incidence of hearing loss among former professional players versus the general public, the correlation with players who suffered head injuries and hearing loss, and what additional factors may lead to hearing loss among player population.

Presented By: Dave Blanchard   |   Intermediate Level

Hearing, among all the senses, connects us to meaningful conversations and activities. Hearing professionals can renew their focus on helping patients regain the communication and social engagement that makes life fun and rewarding. We know there is a close correlation between health and hearing and as such, social engagement can be life-changing in regards to total health and wellness. Studies show that isolation can be as detrimental to your health as smoking or obesity. As patients age, depression, dementia and Alzheimer's are factors that increase the importance of hearing health. These chronic conditions can often be held at bay by simply addressing a patient's need for a holistic approach in their hearing loss journey. In this session we'll cover the topics of where hearing loss ranks in regards to other chronic conditions and how important social engagement is to maintaining health for seniors. We'll also discuss technology and tactics that are currently making a difference in the lives of potential patients, caregivers and family influencers.

Presented By: Caleb Sparkman, Au.D.   |   Intermediate Level

MedRx has built their software to be compatible with the latest IMC2 standards. This has allowed collaboration between MedRx and hearing aid manufacturers in creating a seamless real ear measurement module. If you purchase or already own MedRx real ear systems, you can now perform real ear measurement inside of the Hearing Aid software. Learn more about this integration and how it can benefit your clinic in this presentation.

Presented By: Vicki Hamill, Au.D.   |   Intermediate Level

HIV is a virus that could be spread in the course of patient care. Learn how to reduce the spread of infection in a dispensing practice. This course fulfills the Florida requirement for hearing aid dispensers for 2 hours of continuing education in HIV and AIDS .

Presented By: Jim Fedio   |   Beginner

The quality of your patient experience will never exceed the quality of the people providing it. You can design, create and build the best processes and protocols, but it takes people to make them a reality. When the framework of the practice properly unites its people and process by putting the patient at its core, exceptional service becomes possible across all patient touch points.

Presented By: Shannon M. Basham, AuD   |   Beginner

Research has shown that there are known associations between hearing loss and cognitive abilities. Cognitive decline has been seen to be accelerated in people with hearing loss. Several hypotheses exist regarding the underlying mechanisms driving the described associations. Science is currently trying to find the most likely explanation. One of the more researched hypotheses is that impoverished auditory input leads to decreased cognition- So can hearing aids delay the issue? The session will give an overview of the current state of knowledge.

Presented By: Greg Guggisberg, Jessica Dancis   |   Beginner Level

Hearing Healthcare is constantly changing; OTC, Managed Care, Insurance, Third and fourth party provider networks, manufacturer M&A. Patients are also changing, they are becoming consumers. Baby boomers want a voice and a choice in their healthcare decisions. Hearing aid technology is very good across manufacturers. Providing an exceptional patient experience based on options can help your practice differentiate as well as deal with industry change. The FLEX ecosystem is designed around offering providers the tools they need to offer the best patient experience.

Presented By: John Pumford   |   Intermediate Level

Research evidence and professional guidelines highlight the benefits of verification during the fitting of amplification for both clinicians and clients. To simplify and improve the efficiency of best practice verification, 'autoREMfits' have been developed which link the hearing aid fitting software with verification equipment, supporting automatic adjustment of device settings for target matching. This session will highlight the benefits of this new verification approach relative to traditional manual fitting methods along with key procedural considerations to increase the likelihood of measurement accuracy. Through a combination of lecture and demonstration techniques, one manufacturer's 'autoREMfit' implementation (Audioscan VerifitLINK) will be reviewed. Research into 'autoREMfits', including a recent collaborative study investigating VerifitLINK as integrated into one manufacturer’s hearing aid fitting software, will also be examined along with implications for clinical practice.

Presented By: Brandy Heckroodt   |   Beginner Level

Digital transformation is happening. It is, in some cases, a disruptive force, enabled by new web and mobile technologies changing the face of many businesses. It creates a space for new entrants, huge opportunities but also challenges - especially for existing players. eHealth and eHealth are established phenomenon’s and hearing healthcare is not excluded from it. In this talk, we will visit digital healthcare examples, look at the driving forces behind it and how this might impact hearing healthcare too. Lastly, we will show how Phonak is approaching digital transformation and present it’s eAudiology initiative.

Presented By: Greg Guggisberg, Jessica Dancis   |   Beginner Level

This course will focus on the technological advancements of Unitron’s newest platform. With Discover technology and FLEX, traditional barriers to new technology are a thing of the past. Unitron’s newest products look great, fit great, and sound great right from the start!

In addition, we are pleased to introduce Unitron’s newest RIC styles: Moxi Fit and Moxi Jump R. Both styles share the award winning detail that Unitron is known for creating. Finally, we will introduce an improved first fit flow and other new features in Unitron TrueFit fitting software to support the Discover platform.

Presented By: Alyson Hoffman   |   Beginner Level

Phonak Audeo Marvel introduces a multi-functional hearing aid designed to meet the needs of both providers and patients, providing a love at first sound experience. The Marvel platform introduces next generation automatic technology, universal streaming, and a suite of digital services to meet the personal listening needs of every patient. In this course we will discuss the new Marvel platform, product and technological advancements designed to meet the technological and audiological needs of both providers and their patients.

Presented By: Denise McLeod   |   Beginner Level

Oticon continues to lead the industry with breakthrough technology that addresses the number one problem of people with hearing loss - listening in challenging environments. In 2016, Oticon Opn™ ushered in a new level of performance and raised consumer expectations from hearing aids. With the recent launch of Opn S™ and Opn Play™, Oticon has taken the open sound experience and benefits of BrainHearing™ technology to the next level. This session will review Oticon’s range of advanced technological options in a variety of styles, with proven BrainHearing™ benefits for all listeners.

Presented By: Karl Strom   |   Advanced Level

Learn what’s new with the hearing device manufacturers and discover how these businesses collaborate with hearing care professionals for mutual success. We’ll meet with the presidents of the top brands to discuss their product developments and the impact of industry-wide changes currently in the market as well as those anticipated in the future.

The distinguished panel includes:
- Gary Rosenblum, President, Oticon
- Eric Timm, CEO, WS Audiology USA
- Mike Dittmann, President, Unitron
- Sandy Brandmeier, President, Sonova USA

Presented By: Dan Quall   |   Beginner Level

Cochlear implants are an established treatment modality for patients who need auditory enhancement beyond the capabilities of traditional hearing aids. Despite the excellent outcomes, cochlear implants remain highly under referred as a treatment option for many patients. It is estimated that 5% of all existing patients in audiology offices are cochlear eligible but not referred. This course examined the benefits of being a cochlear implant site, providing cochlear implant services in a community. This course also reviewed findings from clinical observations within 7 practices and identified best practice protocols to enhance patient communication, improve outcomes and increase clinical efficiencies to help make cochlear implants a practical financial treatment option.

Presented By: Suzanne Yonkers   |   Beginner Level

TeleHealth is the remote examining, diagnosing and treating of patients using telecommunications technology. Basically, it means conducting patient visits using audio and video over the internet rather than meeting in person. This method of healthcare is gaining traction as fast as technology and legislation will allow. Expansion into hearing healthcare is no exception. This presentation discusses the status of TeleHealth laws and rules, TeleHearing Care as an effective solution to today’s practice challenges, patient satisfaction outcomes, and equipment and service options.

Presented By: Jennifer Gehlen   |   Beginner Level

Modern hearing aids have come a long way in providing a natural sound quality and yet hearing aid wearers still return for multiple adjustments in effort to achieve better hearing in the situations that matter most to them. Current technology is unable to accurately determine the needs of the wearer in many situations and, therefore, they fall short of wearer expectations. Signia is introducing a new platform with advanced analysis of the acoustical situation to enable individuals to hear what matters to them! Come explore the future of better hearing.

Presented By: Gary Rosenblum   |   Beginner Level

Innovations in hearing healthcare are developing at a faster pace than ever. These innovations contribute to, and shape the future for hearing healthcare professionals, the industry and your practice. Learn more about these top industry trends and how you can leverage them to drive success for you and your practice.

Presented By: Alyssa Ricevuto, AuD   |   Beginner Level

Hearing aids and directional microphones provide benefit to most patients. As the noise level increases and the distance becomes greater between the listener and the speaker, additional microphones may be needed to maintain speech intelligibility and understanding to overcome distance and noise. ROGER wireless technolgy systems function by picking up the voice of the speaker and wirelessly transmitting it to the listener while reducing background noise. This presenation will discuss candidacy for ROGER systems, ROGER microphone options and ROGER universal connectivity. Finally, we will share the outcomes of several studies showing the benefits to ROGER technology.

Presented By: Amanda Cooley   |   Beginner Level

The course will provide a review of Bone Anchored Hearing System patient indications, starting with the basics of how bone conduction works. It will also explain why providing amplification with a BAHS device can be so beneficial for those patients that fulfill the indication criteria. In addition, a review of Oticon Medical's MIPS (Minimally Invasive Ponto Surgery) will be presented. Lastly, the course will include presentations on the paredigm-shifting features of the new Ponto 4 sound processor.

Presented By: Greg Guggisberg, Jessica Dancis   |   Beginner Level

Providing an exceptional patient experience using the FLEX ecosystem can help your practice differentiate as well as deal with industry change. The FLEX ecosystem is designed around offering providers the tools they need to offer the best patient experience. FLEX is a multifaceted tool with different clinic and business applications. This course explores the difference parts of the FLEX ecosystem.