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

Hearing Services Program Changes Update

In the October 2020 budget, changes were announced to the Australian Government Hearing Services Program (the program). To support the implementation of the changes, the program has sought feedback from stakeholders as part of the Hearing Services Program review. The following program changes will take effect on 1 July 2021.

Key Changes

Voucher Period

From 1 July 2021, all new vouchers issued will be valid for five years. For clients with a voucher which has an expiry date after 30 June 2021, their voucher will automatically be extended by a further two years.

A Client Information Sheet is being developed that providers can give to clients regarding the changes. The Information Sheet will outline the 5 year change and an overview of the services that may be available to clients on their voucher.

Client Review

Unaided Clients: For clients who are not aided but may need further support and hearing screening, a new service Item: Client Review – Unaided will be available from 1 July 2021. All unaided clients, will be entitled to an annual client review from 12 months after their initial assessment under the program.

Aided Clients: The current Monaural Client Review service (items 930) will be expanded to include clients who have been fitted with an Assistive Listening Device (ALD). This will allow clients fitted with ALDs to be reviewed annually.  

The program will release further information, including requirements for the new unaided service item and updated requirements for the aided client review soon.

Maintenance Services

Initial Fittings: There will be no changes to initial fittings. If a client is on a maintenance agreement, providers will still receive the consumables component.

Refittings: Providers will no longer be able to claim for a maintenance service for 12 months from the date of fitting of the new device/s.  

For clients already on a maintenance agreement at the time of a replacement, there will be no changes to the current arrangements and the maintenance agreement will continue as normal. If a client has a replacement but is not on a maintenance agreement and wishes to commence one, the standard processes for establishing a maintenance agreement will apply.  

Standard Maintenance: Standard maintenance items will cover repairs and consumables. There will be no changes to the existing maintenance items.

Relocated Maintenance: Relocated maintenance will be reduced to one quarter of the current annual standard maintenance amount plus the full client co-payment amount.  Standard maintenance will not be able to be claimed until 12 months after the client’s previous maintenance expiry.

General maintenance information

  • All existing maintenance service items (items 700, 710, 711, 722, 790, 791 and 777) will be retained.
  • There will be no change to the client maintenance co-payment.
  • There will be updates to the Schedule of Service Items and Fees to incorporate the above changes and these will be shared when available.

Revalidated Services

A voucher entitles program clients to a range of available services. Where the client has used an available service on their voucher and there is a demonstrated clinical need that meets the program requirements, providers can apply for a revalidated service.

From 1 July 2021, the Revalidated Service Request form will be completed online. If the revalidated service is approved by the program, providers can proceed with delivering and claiming for the service. Revalidated Service Requests under ECR1, will also be checked against the new device fitting range information for devices.

An updated Quick Reference Guide will be released once the changes have been finalised in the system.

Transition Support

To support providers and software vendors to transition to the new arrangements, the program will

  • Maintain a Program Changes webpage to provide update information and links to key resources.  
  • Provide New and Updated Provider Factsheets.
  • Release a Client Information Sheet outlining the available services and voucher changes.
  • Release draft updated Schedule of Services Items and Fees.
  • Provide webinars and virtual Q&A sessions.
  • Update Hearing Services Online Portal Quick Reference Guides.

A Frequently Asked Questions about the program changes is also available and will be updated as new questions are received.

Further Information

If you have any comments or questions regarding the program changes please email us at hearing@health.gov.au with the subject Voucher Program Changes.

You can also submit any questions or enquiries via the online feedback form.  

Hearing Services Program Changes Update (PDF 158 KB)

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