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

HSO system outages - tips for hearing services providers

This factsheet provides guidance for service providers about what they can do when the portal and/or related services (such as Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) online services) are unavailable.

There are a number of scenarios that may affect your business’ capacity to fully use the online portal. How your business responds to these scenarios will depend on a number of factors including the size of your organisation, other clinical sites being available, your general business processes etc.

Scheduled portal outages

From time to time, the Department of Health (the Department) schedules outages to apply fixes or additional functionality to the portal. All scheduled outages will be notified on the Whats New page of the website. If you experience any issues following a scheduled outage please contact the Department.

Unexpected portal outages

If the system is unavailable, the Department will advise service providers via email of the unexpected outage, and the affected functions of the portal. Service providers will be notified as soon as the issue is resolved or a workaround is available.

If you believe the portal is experiencing an outage but have not received any notification to this effect, please advise the Department immediately.

If the outage has happened outside of business hours (AEST), or on a day the Department has advised support is not available (e.g. public holidays and on weekends), you should email ITServiceDesk@health.gov.au immediately to advise the Department of the suspected outage. In this email you will need to specifically advise that ‘Hearing Services Online’ appears to be having an outage, and copy the hearing@health.gov.au into the email for our information.

If an unexpected outage occurs, the Department will try to resolve it within 4 hours of being notified of the issue.

Outages of Centrelink or DVA online services

Eligibility checking through the portal (and in turn, voucher processing) can be affected by system outages with Centrelink and/or DVA’s online services. As with unexpected outages, service providers will be notified via email. Applications lodged during an outage are saved as ‘pending’ applications and require manual processing by the Department.

Generally these outages are intermittent and are resolved quickly. The Department endeavours to process pending applications within one business day. However, if these online services are unavailable for an extended period of time, pending applications cannot be finalised until the outage is resolved, which may be the next business day.

In this instance, the Department will notify service providers and will provide guidance about how to claim for services that were provided to clients during the outage.

Other issues affecting portal access

Difficulties logging in to the portal

Information regarding minimum system requirements is available on the website. If the user’s setup meets the minimum system requirements, contact the IT support and/or portal administrator within your organisation. If you do not know who your portal administrators are you can contact the Department to confirm.

If your IT support and/or portal administrator is unable to resolve the issue, the Department can advise on next steps.

Errors logging in are usually related to your user profile, or the correct installation and use of an AUSkey. Your portal administrator can refer AUSkey issues to the AUSkey helpdesk on 1300 AUSkey (1300 287 539).

Please contact the Department if you are unable to resolve an enquiry with the AUSkey helpdesk, so we can investigate with our AUSkey partners.

Service provider internal IT issues affecting access to the portal

Contact your IT support or internet service provider in the case of network or IT issues.

If you are unable to resolve the issue and it is likely to affect your clients receiving services, please email hearing@health.gov.au. We may be able to help you process your highest priority clients in the portal, or provide advice on the status of client records.

If the problem is unlikely to be resolved quickly, arrangements to best assist you can be discussed on a case by case basis.

What happens if a client attends for a service but a service provider cannot access the portal to issue a voucher?

If an unexpected outage of the portal or eligibility confirmation services through Centrelink or DVA has affected your core business (such as your ability to process new or return vouchers), please email hearing@health.gov.au to advise the Department of the clients affected and where applicable, the claim numbers of the services provided to these clients.

The Department will consider these incidents on an individual basis, and will provide you with guidance on the process to be able to claim for services that were provided to clients during this time.

We strongly recommend that service providers take precaution and complete eligibility checks and/or voucher applications for clients prior to the day of their appointment, to allow unexpected issues to be resolved in advance of the appointment.

We strongly recommend that service providers take precaution and complete eligibility checks and/or voucher applications for clients prior to the day of their appointment, to allow unexpected issues to be resolved in advance of the appointment.

HSO system outages - tips for hearing service providers (PDF 65 KB)

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