Australian Government - Department of Health - Office of Hearing Services
Hearing Services Program

Eligibility Criteria for Refitting

The Eligibility Criteria for Refitting (ECR) provide guidance for Contracted Service Providers (providers) of the Australian Government Hearing Services Program (the program) when deciding whether to refit a client.

The ECR outline the situations where a client’s current hearing device/s are no longer suitable due to a significant change in the client’s circumstances since their last fitting. The client therefore requires new hearing device/s and must be refitted.

Provider Responsibility

The client’s current devices must be evaluated and found to be unsuitable before new device/s are discussed with the client.

Before refitting, it is the responsibility of the provider to check that a refitting service is available on the client’s current voucher.

Minimum Hearing Loss Threshold

Refitting’s for clients with a 3FAHL ≤ 23dB in any ear must meet both Minimum Hearing Loss Threshold exemption criteria.

Revalidated Services

If a client’s hearing or health changes significantly, they require an additional assessment or refitting not available on their current voucher and the criteria for revalidation is met, providers may request a revalidated service.

Lost or damaged devices

If a hearing device is lost or damaged beyond repair (DBR), and it is still available on a Schedule of Approved Devices, the replacement should be the same hearing device, unless the client’s circumstances meets an ECR.

Record Keeping

Please ensure that the required ECR evidence is documented on file. Before proceeding with a refitting of any client, practitioners must consider and document

  • the client’s current device usage, attitude, motivation and hearing goals,
  • alternatives to refitting to address the client’s issues (counselling, assistance from family members, remote control, adjustment to current device settings etc),
  • the nature and configuration of the changed hearing loss and likely future changes, and
  • the degree of deterioration of the client’s health or the physical change in ear health.

Eligibility Criteria

Any program refitting must meet one of the following criteria and the client file must include notes referencing the criterion used to support the refitting and the evidence listed under the evidence requirements for that criterion.
 

Eligibility Criteria

Evidence Requirements

  1. The current hearing aid(s) are unsuitable because they can no longer be optimised by adjustments or any other modifications to meet current gain requirements.
  • Documented evidence on file details that the current hearing aid(s) are established to be in optimal working order through manufacturer service/repair, mould/shell modification or replacement

And

  • After adjustment/modification has been made to current hearing aid(s) to accommodate changes in thresholds, Real Ear Measurements show a poor match to targets

Or

  • Aid specifications show that the client’s current Hearing Threshold Level (HTL) is outside the range of the current hearing aid(s) and they were previously optimally fitted.
  1. The current hearing aid(s) are unsuitable because the client can no longer use their aid(s) due to a significant deterioration in health, dexterity or cognitive ability since last fitting.
  • Documented evidence on file describes the client’s deterioration and how this affects the client’s ability to manage their hearing aid(s) or a letter from the client’s doctor, carer, nurse, supervisor etc. giving details of how the condition affects current hearing aid usage.

And

  • Details what has been tried with the current hearing aid(s) or why they cannot be modified

And

  • Details how the new aid(s) proposed for refitting will address the issues with the current hearing aid(s).
  1. A change in physical condition of the ear or ear health has occurred since last fitting and the client requires a different style of hearing device(s) to accommodate this change.
  • Documented evidence on file, such as case notes, that describe the change in physical condition of the ear or ear health
    And
  • Details what has been tried with the current aid(s) or why they cannot be modified

And

  • Details how the new hearing aid(s) proposed for refitting will address the issues with the current hearing aid(s).
  1. The current hearing aid(s) are unsuitable because the client requires a telecoil, and current hearing aid(s) do not have a telecoil

Please note, this situation does NOT allow for refitting with an FM system/streamer or equivalent.

  • Documented evidence on file, such as case notes, that states the specific goal which can only be met with a telecoil.

And

  • Indicates a change in client needs relating to telecoil since the last fitting.

Please note, clients must opt-out of having a telecoil for any fitting.

  1. Client currently fitted with an Assistive Listening Device (ALD) and now requires hearing aid(s).
  • Documented evidence on file, such as case notes, detailing a change in client circumstances that indicates hearing aid fitting.

 

  1. Client’s previous initial fit or refit occurred more than five (5) years ago.
  • Evidence that no fittings have been claimed within the last five (5) years for the ear(s) proposed for refitting.

 

Eligibility Criteria for Refitting (PDF 198 KB)

Requesting a revalidated service

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