Australian Government - Department of Health and Aged Care - Office of Hearing Services
Hearing Services Program

Contract Redevelopment Consultation FAQs

Consultation on a proposed new service provider contract is underway. This page provides information on key questions and clarifications on the proposed new contract and consultation process. This page was last updated on 9 July 2019.

Consultation information

Where can I get more information about the contract redevelopment?

You can get information and updates on the contract redevelopment through the following links located on the Hearing Services Program website

Contract Redevelopment Webpage

Contract Consultation

When is feedback on the draft Service Provider Contract due?

All stakeholders are required to submit their feedback on the draft contract by 19 July 2019.

Is an extension possible? We are unable to provide an extension for feedback. To ensure that the feedback can be reviewed, changes consolidated and contract distributed for execution by the end date of the current contract, feedback must be received by 19 July 2019.


Can I email my feedback rather than complete the online survey?

The survey is our preferred way of obtaining feedback. Completing the survey will assist stakeholders in framing their feedback and also assist us to consolidate and analyse responses.  

If you are unable to use the survey and wish to submit your feedback by email you can do so by emailing attention Program Management Team. Please insert Service Provider Contract Feedback in the subject line.

Change management

How long will I have to get ready for the changes?

The proposed new contract is due to commence on 1 October 2019 in line with the proposed instrument start date.

Depending on the outcomes of the consultation, providers will be given until 1 January 2020 to implement specific changes including

  • cessation of all subcontracting of clinical hearing services,
  • updating device supply arrangements disclosure statements, and
  • amending forms, procedures and processes and ensuring staff are implementing services in accordance with the updated requirements.

The department is also considering ways it can support providers to transition to the new arrangements. A survey has been released seeking feedback from providers and practitioners.

What is the Provider Support Survey about?

Feedback from providers is being sought on how we can support your transition to the proposed new arrangements under the legislative instrument and contract. The survey seeks feedback on the current supports the program has in place, for example the website and fact sheets. The survey also seeks suggestions for other ways the program can support services being delivered to program clients, for example providing optional templates for provider use.

Schedule of Service Items and Fees Changes

What is the proposed new Schedule of Service Items and Fees?

The proposed new instrument references a document called the Schedule of Service Items and Fees. This new document consolidates the Schedule of Service Items, the Schedule of Fees and the existing program standards. It will be available on the program website from 1 October 2019.

During 2019-20, we will work with providers and other stakeholders to review, consolidate and simplify these program requirements.

What changes are happening to service items?

There will be minimal changes to service items at this stage. As a result of issues raised during the consultation of the instrument, from 1 October 2019, there are three key proposed changes to service items as outlined on the Contract Changes Overview.  

Contract consultation clarifications

Based on some enquiries regarding the proposed contract, the following information seeks to clarify the proposed requirements.

Purchasing Directly from an Appointed Supplier

An Appointed Supplier is a manufacturer/supplier who holds a Deed of Standing Offer with the Department of Health and has committed to a range of conditions associated with device supply to program clients. A list of Appointed Suppliers is available on the program website.

The Deed between the department and manufacturers/suppliers and the current Service Provider Contract stipulates that a contract is formed when a provider purchases a device from an Appointed Supplier. If devices are being purchased/supplied from a third party (i.e. an entity that is not an Appointed Supplier) this contract cannot be formed.

The proposed new Service Provider Contract will specify that providers must obtain the device/s they supply to program clients directly from an Appointed Supplier. If a third party is supplying the device/s directly to the client, there is no entitlement for payment from the Commonwealth. Providers must only claim for device/s they have purchased directly from an Appointed Supplier and the claiming provider has fitted the device/s directly to a program client in accordance with program requirements.

Any provider who is operating through a device supply arrangement with a third party is strongly encouraged to contact the department and/or obtain legal advice to ensure these arrangements are compliant with legislative and contractual requirements. Providers can be required to reimburse the program and clients for services, including device fittings that are not compliant with the program requirements.

Audiological Case Management

There are no major changes to the current arrangements for Audiological Case Management except to clarify the service item is for referrals from audiometrists to audiologists for non-routine clients to cover the Audiologist time for audiological review and advice.

These services can be claimed by any business but the Audiologist who is completing the service must be linked to the business in the portal and the claim must be made with the Audiologist QP number. Providers will be able to subcontract Audiological Case Management services, if they ensure the services are delivered in accordance with program requirements.

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