Provider Factsheet - Device Replacements
Hearing Services Program (program) clients are eligible for replacement hearing devices if their device(s) is lost and unlikely to be found or damaged beyond repair (DBR).
Section 48 of the Hearing Services Program (Voucher) Instrument 2019 outlines the program requirements regarding replacement hearing devices.
The Schedule of Service Items and Fees 2021-22 (Schedule of Service Items and Fees) lists the conditions required for Replacement device claiming under the program.
Evidence that a Replacement device is required must be provided before a Replacement device is supplied.
The Department requires a statutory declaration from the client for a lost aid. The statutory declaration must be completed in the name of the person signing the declaration and include when and where the device(s) was lost and must be signed by an approved witness.
When you sign a statutory declaration as the witness you must state your qualification and ensure it is on the list of Approved Witnesses.
If a device is DBR, a letter from the manufacturer is required to be kept on the client’s file as evidence that the device has been declared DBR and that a replacement hearing aid is required.
Replacement Service Items
There are two replacement service items, Item 840 (monaural) and Item 850 (binaural). Replacements are permitted when the client has a current voucher and has received a fitting or private devices are being maintained through the program (Items 790/791).
Please note that a fitting claim or 790/791 claim must be processed and approved before you can submit a replacement claim.
Where a Behind-the-Ear device is fitted, a dispensing fee is added as part of these items.
A device replacement fee, equal to or lower than the amount specified in the Schedule of Service Items and Fees at the time of service, shall be payable by the client to the provider. The exceptions to this include:
- the Client has dementia (item 555)
- the device was lost/DBR in hospital (item 555)
- the device was lost/DBR in a nursing home by the staff (item 555)
- the device was lost/DBR in the post (item 555)
- the Client holds a DVA Gold Card or a DVA White Card (for hearing loss) (item 888)
The client must not be charged if an item 555 or 888 is claimed.
Program clients must receive a written quote for the replacement device, whether fully or partially subsidised. The quote must be signed and dated prior to the replacement and must be kept on the client’s file. The quote must meet program requirements (refer Provider Factsheet - Device Quotes).
The client (or their Power of Attorney/Guardian) must sign and date the quote prior to the replacement.
A lost or DBR device should be replaced with the same device if it is still available on a fully or partially subsidised device schedules (Device Schedule). If the device is no longer listed on a Device Schedule, it should be replaced with another Approved Device from the same category (e.g. Category 1 – High powered BTE, Category 2 – Low powered BTE, etc.) and tier (i.e. fully subsided or partially subsidised) and device family.
Evidence to Substantiate Services and Claims
Program requirements are monitored in accordance with the Compliance Monitoring and Support Framework. The program undertakes routine compliance checks in accordance with the Service Provider Contract, specifically clause 16.
Providers are required to substantiate services and claims and comply with the program requirements.
Evidence in client case notes for Replacements must include
- Lost device – statutory declaration completed and signed by the client/client’s representative and witnessed by an authorised witness.
- Damaged beyond repair (DBR) – DBR letter from manufacturer stating the device(s) is damaged beyond repair
The evidence requirements are outlined in the Schedule of Service Items and Fees
Further information is available on the Documentation and Record Keeping Factsheet.
Frequent device replacement
Where a client is requesting multiple replacement devices over a short timeframe, providers should investigate the cause of the loss or damage. Providers may need to consider alternatives to devices for clients with dementia or in nursing homes where the security of client devices may not be guaranteed.
Spare device replacement
Clients who have only one aidable ear and have received a spare device under the program are entitled to receive a replacement device if their spare device is lost or damaged beyond repair. These same program replacement requirements apply to spare devices.
Private device replacement
If a client loses or damages their private devices beyond repair, they are entitled to receive the services still available to them on their current voucher. Refer to the Private Services and Devices Factsheet on the website.
Devices lost or damaged by the provider or manufacturer
Providers cannot claim for devices that have been lost or damaged by the provider, provider’s staff or the manufacturer.
Frequently Asked Questions
A client lost their device before a follow up to the fitting could be completed?
For scenarios regarding lost devices and the relevant service item to submit refer to the Claiming Information webpage.
What is the procedure if a client’s spare aid has been lost, or declared DBR?
If a client’s spare aid has been lost or declared DBR, please follow the usual process for replacement devices as outlined above.
If a client has lost a partially subsidised device does the replacement device have to be another partially subsidised device?
If a partially subsidised device is lost, the program recommends that it be replaced with the same device if it is still on the schedule.
The program recognises however that there may be circumstances where the client may not be able to afford a partially subsidised device again. In this case the program would allow a fully subsidised device as a replacement as long as it is similar in technology and in the same category and style as the partially subsidised device and where a full rehabilitation is not required.
Am I required to program a replacement device?
When a replacement device is the same as the lost or DBR device, programming using previous settings is acceptable.
When the replacement device is different from the lost or DBR device, the provider must demonstrate that the device has been appropriately programmed, with the response verified against a prescriptive target and optimised according to the client’s needs and preferences. It must be checked for comfort and the client shown how to effectively manage the device.
Under what circumstances a refit would be considered instead of a replacement?
If a Client has lost their device, has had a change in circumstances, and meets the Eligibility Criteria for Refitting then a refit would be appropriate instead of replacement. It is important to evaluate the client’s circumstances when a device is lost and needs replacing. If the client requires a different style of device, from a different category or tier, or an assistive listening device (ALD), a refit is required and not a replacement. To proceed with the refit a request for a revalidated service would be required if the client has had a fitting (not replacement) on their current voucher.