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

Provider Factsheet - Maintenance Services

Through the Australian Government Hearing Services Program (program), clients can receive a range of services including the provision of hearing devices where needed. When a client receives a program fitting, the device supplier will provide consumables to support the initial use of the device and the device will be under warranty covering design, materials and workmanship defects for at least 12 months.

Hearing devices are also covered by general consumer laws for repairs, replacements and refunds. Consumer laws and guarantees also apply. Further information is available on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website

Maintenance Agreement

A Maintenance Agreement (agreement) is a written agreement made between a program client and the client’s provider to enable the client to receive ongoing maintenance, repairs and consumables, including batteries.

The program encourages all fitted clients to enter into an agreement. Clients can opt-out of having an agreement however, they will be responsible for all repairs and consumables not covered by warranty or the initial supply of consumables.

The program has a Maintenance Agreement template available that providers can use or that can be adapted as long as the information is retained.

What is Covered

An agreement covers:

  • Appropriate battery supply
  • Adjustments and re-programming if required (including phone or accessories connectivity issues)
  • Repairs to the device as well as to any other attachments necessary for the operation of the device
  • Necessary components for the functioning of the device (e.g., Ear-moulds, thin tube and dome replacement)
  • Hearing Aid cleaning

Note: Clients with partially subsidised devices may be charged for repairs if agreed in the device quote prior to fitting

Timing

All program clients who receive a device through the program must be offered an agreement. Providers may offer clients the opportunity to enter into a new Agreement at the time of refitting, irrespective of when the previous agreement expires.

In all other circumstances, agreements last for 12 months.

If a client is already on an agreement, the next one can be signed up to 45 days before the existing one expires. This allows providers to send out the new agreement to clients for signature well in advance of the current agreement expiring.

Client Signature

If a client is not on a current agreement the client can sign the agreement any time between the fitting date and follow-up date of the service. This is a decision for each business. The commencement date will always be the Date of Fitting of the device.

If an agreement is signed before the current agreement expires: the date of service for the maintenance claim will be 12 months after the date of service from the previous maintenance claim. The client signature and date confirms they wish to enter into an agreement.

If an agreement is signed after the current agreement expires: the date that the client signed the agreement is the date that the new agreement begins. This is also the date of service for the maintenance claim. The agreement must be signed before submitting a maintenance claim. If a client returns an unsigned form, you must not submit the maintenance claim.

For relocated clients, if they are on an existing agreement, you will not have to get the client to sign a new agreement until the existing one expires. If the client is not on an agreement, the new provider may offer a new agreement in accordance with the conditions set out in the Schedule of Service Items and Fees.

Only the client or a Power of Attorney (POA) can enter into an agreement for the client.

Client Co-payments

When clients enter an agreement, the client can be charged a co-payment which is a contribution towards maintenance of their hearing device/s. The co-payment can be charged at either the fitting or follow up appointment. We note that some providers waive the co-payment, this is a business decision for each provider.

Fully Subsidised Devices: the maximum co-payment amount that can be charged is set out in the Schedule of Service Items and Fees. This is indexed annually and is the same amount whether the client is monaurally or binaurally fitted.

Partially Subsidised Devices: the amount of the co-payment for partially subsidised devices can be higher than the maximum co-payment set for fully subsidised devices. The client must be made aware of the higher cost prior to the fitting, outlined in the Device Quote and the amount must be clearly documented on the client’s agreement. If the co-payment amount will increase over time this should be included on the original Device Quote so the client understands the potential ongoing costs.

Relocating Clients: When a client has relocated to a new provider and they are already on an agreement, the client cannot be charged the co-payment again until their next agreement is due. The program claim for relocated maintenance will include the co-payment so that the client and new provider are not disadvantaged.

Private/BYO Devices: If a client has a device that was not supplied through the program, they can still elect to receive ongoing maintenance and support. The device/s must be on the current approved Schedule of Devices, and must be the client’s primary devices. The device/s must be suitable for the client’s needs, in working order and maintainable for the remainder of the client’s current voucher period.

If the client is already on an agreement this agreement will continue until its expiry. The co-payment cannot be charged until the next agreement.

If the client is not already on an agreement, when the client signs the agreement for the Private/BYO devices the co-payment can be charged.

DVA Clients: If a client is a DVA Gold Card or DVA White Card Holder (specified for hearing loss) and has entered an agreement, DVA will pay the co-payment up to the maximum co-payment amount set for fully subsidised devices.

Please note DVA does not pay the co-payment for hearing devices provided to the holder of a DVA Pensioner Concession Card or a spouse or dependent of any card type. DVA will also not pay the co-payment if the fitting is not successful and a follow-up appointment is not completed.

Program Claims

Program Maintenance Claims

Except in the twelve months after an initial fitting or refitting, if the client commences an agreement, providers may submit a maintenance claim to cover any potential repairs and consumables for one year. This is in addition to the co-payment.

The service and evidence requirements, conditions for claiming and fees paid for maintenance claims are outlined in the Schedule of Service Items and Fees. The amount paid will depend on whether the client is monaurally or binaurally fitted.

Maintenance Service Items include:

Monaural Maintenance

  • Standard Maintenance (item 700)
  • Relocated Maintenance (item 711)
  • Private Maintenance (item 790)

Binaural Maintenance

  • Standard Maintenance (item 710)
  • Relocated Maintenance (item 722)
  • Private Maintenance (item 791)

DVA - 777

For DVA Gold Card or DVA White Card Holder (specified for hearing loss), an item 777 may be claimed in conjunction with a fitting claim or in conjunction with an item 700 / 710 claim.  The Date of Service for item 777 must always match either the date of service for a maintenance claim or the date of fitting for a fitting claim. Please note that you cannot claim an item 777 in conjunction with any fittings with no follow up.

Portal

The portal records the start date of the agreement which is the Date of Service for a maintenance claim or the date of fitting for a fitting claim. The portal also displays the client’s latest maintenance expiry date in the client’s service history. Providers can export a list of all currently linked clients which includes the maintenance expiry date.

Arrangements for Different Fitting Types

When a client enters an agreement, when a provider can claim from the program and charge a client co-payment will depend on a range of factors including the fitting arrangement, previous fitting dates, and whether the client is on a current agreement.

An overview of the requirements for clients receiving an initial fitting, refitting, relocated and private maintenance is outlined in Table A below.

Returned Devices

If a client returns their device and they are no longer aided under the program, providers will be required to reimburse the program and the client for maintenance payments made on or after the fitting date or last agreement date, whichever is most recent.   

If you have any issues or questions regarding maintenance, please email the program at hearing@health.gov.au.

Table A: Maintenance Agreements, Client Co-payments and Program Claim Overview

The following table outlines the majority of scenarios related to device maintenance where the client receives a fitting and wishes to enter an agreement or is already on an agreement. If your client has a unique situation, please contact the program for further guidance. Refer to the Schedule of Service Items and Fees for further information regarding program requirements, claiming, co-payments and evidence requirements. 

 

Maintenance Agreement Details

Client Co-payment

Program Claim

If not entering a Maintenance Agreement

Initial Fitting

Signing Date: Anytime on or between the fitting and follow-up service dates.

Commencement Date: Date of Fitting

Term: 12 months from Date of Fitting

Once fitted and on signing the agreement the client can be charged the co-payment as per the Schedule of Fees.  

Fitting: 630, 631, 635, 636, 640, 641, (inclusive of consumable component)

Maintenance: Not claimable for 12 months from the date of fitting.

Fitting: 650, 651, 655, 656, 660, 661

 

Subsequent Initial Fitting – No Current Maintenance Agreement in Place

Signing Date: Anytime on or between the fitting and follow-up service dates.

Commencement Date: Date of Fitting

Term: 12 months from Date of Fitting

Once fitted and on signing the agreement the client can be charged the co-payment as per the Schedule of Fees.  

Fitting: 770, 771

Maintenance: 710

Note: Maintenance is not claimable for 12 months from the initial fitting.

Fitting: 770, 771

Subsequent Initial Fitting – Current Maintenance Agreement in Place

Existing Maintenance Agreement terms apply.

 

Not Payable

Fitting: 760, 761 (inclusive of consumable component)

Maintenance: Not claimable for 12 months from the commencement date of the existing Maintenance Agreement.

N/A

Refitting

Signing Date: Anytime on or between the fitting and follow-up service dates.

Commencement Date: Date of Fitting

Term: 12 months from Date of Fitting

Client co-payment is payable to cover new devices supplied. Amount as per the Fees Schedule.

Fitting: 820, 821, 825, 826, 830, 831

Maintenance: Not claimable for 12 months from the Date of Fitting.

Fitting: 820, 821, 825, 826, 830, 831

 

Relocated Maintenance

Existing Maintenance Agreement terms apply.

 

Not Payable – the co-payment is covered by the program claim

Monaural Relocated Maintenance: 711

Binaural Relocated Maintenance: 722

Note: if a client relocates and is not on a current agreement at the time of relocating, providers may offer an agreement and claim item 700 or 710.

N/A

Private/BYO Maintenance

Commencement Date: Date of signature on the Maintenance Agreement

Term: 12 months from the Commencement Date.

On signing the agreement the client can be charged the co-payment as per the Schedule of Fees.

Monaural Private Maintenance: 790

Binaural Private Maintenance: 791

Note: if previously fitted through the program standard maintenance should be claimed (items 700, 710).

Note: if on an existing Maintenance Agreement, that agreement continues.

N/A

 








Complementary Content