OTC Hearing Aids

Who wants to take a field trip to Best Buy in November? Word is, their new in-store sale centers for OTC will be up and running by then. The New York Times wonders how hearing aid dependent audiology practices will adjust to the pivot to selling hearing aid support for equipment purchased elsewhere. I do as well. Might their resources be turned to helping more intensively those beyond mild to moderate hearing loss — the target demographic for OTC hearing aids? The hearing aid industry is ripe for disruption in the moderate to severe hearing loss group as well.

Certificates of Public Advantage

It has taken a while, but the FTC has spoken out against the anti-competitive effects of Certificates of Public Advantage Laws, those state laws that extend an antitrust shield to merging acute care hospital entities seeking to merge or affiliate in the name of the greater good. COPAs are beyond having a moment and have, over the past few decades, become decidedly fashionable. In light of this, the FTC’s bottom line that the states should stop, turn about face, and repeal these statutes seems curiously pie in the sky. Are COPAs the source of rising health costs and declining competition in the acute care hospital sector or an attempt at a quasi-regulatory fix?

Increasing Diversity in Medical Schools

This is both a heartening and disheartening overview of how we have only five percent of American doctors who are black. Both an over-reliance on historically black colleges to feed the pipeline and a tragically slow effort to support diverse students interested in medicine from the earliest school grades have produced some resulting increase in black doctors, but arguably disappointing results.