Ryan Baker is an Audiologist at Audiology by Accent in Gainesville, Florida. In May of 2012, Audiology by Accent unbundled services and hearing instruments.
“We made the decision to distinguish our practice in an increasingly competitive market and to highlight the value of the provider,” says Baker. “All of the ENTs and audiologists in the practice agreed that our service should not be “free” and that hearing aids should be more affordable.”
They determined that the emphasis should be taken off the product and that patients should be shown a breakdown of all of the costs involved. “When one patient visits your office 20 times in a year and another patient only 3 times, they should not pay the same amount. Our time and expertise should have value and while hearing instruments make it all possible, the skill of the audiologist makes it better.”
Audiology by Accent’s patients have been very pleased with this approach and their fittings have been very successful. “We noticed people didn’t feel the need to shop around,” said Baker. “It wasn’t nearly as tough to implement as we expected. Patients are empowered to learn as much as they can about routine care and maintenance. I find I have far fewer appointments changing wax guards and have more time for evaluations and new fittings.“
Baker says that the practice also stands out among referring physicians due to their lower prices and a fitting process that ensures aural rehabilitation, outcome measures and real ear verification.
Baker first became interested in a career in audiology when he was working as a satellite operator at CNN. He saw the joy his wife, Katharine, got from her nursing career and was inspired to join the health profession. His love of music has also helped him as an audiologist. “It’s amazing how much music recording and engineering has impacted my ability to improve the hearing of my patients. I figure that being familiar with frequency shaping, compression and audio terms helped me transition to the role of an audiologist much easier than if I entered with just a CSD background.”
Baker has a home recording studio and has played piano and organ in several bands over the past 7 years. One of his favorites is Heavy Petty, a Tom Petty tribute band, which is appropriate since Tom Petty is from Gainesville. Baker took a break from Heavy Petty last year to record an album with some other musicians in a band called Discount Hi-Fi. His album “The Letter” was finished last summer and is a throwback to the Beach Boys and other harmony based rock and roll.