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

CROS and BiCROS devices

Contralateral Routing of Signal (CROS) and Bilateral CROS (BiCROS) devices are non-standard devices that are fitted when a client may not benefit from a traditional hearing aid. It is important that providers understand the difference between CROS and BiCROS devices.

CROS

CROS devices are suitable for clients who have one ear that has normal hearing and the other ear is not aidable due to the nature of the hearing loss or medical condition of the ear. The receiver is worn on the better ear and the transmitter or microphone is worn on the poorer ear. The sound is transferred from the transmitter to the receiver worn on the better ear. This allows the client to hear sounds with their better ear no matter which side the sound is coming from. In order to fit a CROS device through the program, the better ear does not need to meet the Minimum Hearing Loss Threshold (MHLT) criteria.  For example

  • Normal ear + “dead” or poor ear = CROS device fitting, or
  • Ear with mild loss (but does not meet MHLT) + “dead” or poor ear = CROS device fitting.

BiCROS

BiCROS (bilateral microphones with contralateral routing of signal) devices are suitable for clients who have a hearing loss in both ears, but one ear is significantly better than the opposite ear. The hearing aid or receiver is worn on the better ear and the transmitter or microphone is worn on the opposite ear. In order to fit a BiCROS device through the program, the better ear must meet the MHLT fitting criteria. For example

  • Ear with hearing loss which meets MHLT + “dead” or poor ear = BiCROS device fitting.

If the client does not meet the MHLT, they must meet the exception criteria and a WANT (Wishes and Needs Tool) must be completed by the client and kept on their file. If the better ear does not meet the MHLT or the exception criteria, you will need to consider a CROS fitting.

Claiming method for CROS/BiCROS devices

A list of approved fully subsidised CROS/BiCROS devices (real time) is available on the program’s website. You can also find the PDF/XLS devices schedule with prices on the Hearing Services Online (HSO) portal under the publications accordion.

Given you will be maintaining two devices when fitting CROS/BiCROS hearing aids you will claim for binaural services (for example, an item 640/830/940 etc.). You can also claim binaural battery and maintenance (item 710).

If you are claiming for one component of a CROS/BiCROS device (e.g. 820, 760 or 770), you should submit the claim through your e-claiming system. If you are having difficulties submitting a claim for a CROS/BiCROS device you will need to email hearing@health.gov.au for advice on claiming.

BiCROS devices and spare aids

The Spare aid (item 960) can be claimed through your e-Claim software batch file if the client configuration is recorded as monaural against the claim history, however, if the client configurations is binaural due to the BiCROS fitting, the item 960 must be submitted claim under the client record as a Portal claim. Providers can only claim for one component of the BiCROS device (e.g. the receiver or transmitter). Ideally, service providers should claim for the receiver component that is worn on the better ear. This should be compatible with the transmitting component worn on the worse ear. Providers cannot claim for both components of the device.

A spare aid can no longer be claimed for CROS devices.

CROS and BiCROS devices (PDF 146 KB)

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