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

Provider Transition

Following a thematic review of the Australian Government Hearing Services Program (the program) legislation, five existing instruments were repealed and replaced with the Hearing Services Program (Voucher) Instrument 2019 (the instrument).

As a result of the new instrument, existing contracted service providers were offered a new Service Provider Contract (the contract) with the Department of Health (the department). To support providers to transition to the new legislative and contractual arrangements a transition period has been established.

Transition period

The department has established a transition period from 1 October 2019 until 31 March 2020 to allow providers time to implement new processes, procedures and templates, in accordance with the new instrument and contract.

A Transition Guide has been released. During the transition period, the department will also release new factsheets, forms and transition information, to support providers to implement the new arrangements. Information on these is available below.

The Transition Guide lists the changes to program requirements, and note the requirements for which a transition period is allowed. Where specified in the Transition Guide, providers will be given until 31 March 2020 to comply with the new requirements.

From 1 October 2019, providers must comply with all other program requirements.

Timeframes

Month Actions
1 October 2019

New instrument & contract take effect.

Provider Transition period commences.

October to December 2019 New / updated provider support documents published to website.
November 2019 Provider Feedback Survey opens.
February 2020 Provider Readiness SAT opens.
March 2020 Provider Readiness SAT closes.
31 March 2020 Provider Transition period closes.
April 2020 Provider Feedback Survey closes.

Communication and Consultation

The department will continue to liaise with providers over the coming months. Updates will be published on this page and through Contracted Service Provider Notices (CSPNs). If you would like to be updated please ensure you are registered for the RSS Feeds.

Contracted Service Provider Notices

Number CSPN Title
201910 New Legislation and Contract
201911 Commencement of Provider Transition period for new program requirements

Schedule of Service Items

The instrument references a document called the Schedule of Service Items and Fees. This new document consists of the program standards, Schedule of Service Items, and the Schedule of Fees. It was released on the program website on 1 October 2019.

During 2020, we will work with providers and other stakeholders to review, clarify and consolidate the program requirements.

Further details will be available on this page and will be shared by email.

Provider Supports

In response to the feedback received in the Provider Support Survey conducted in July 2019, the department is developing a range of new or updated documents, forms and factsheets.

Further documents will be published between now and 31 December 2019. Providers will be notified by RSS Feed, the What’s New webpage and by email as documents are published.

New and updated provider factsheets will be released via the Provider Factsheets Page.

A range of new and updated forms will be made available to support providers to comply with the program requirements. Please note that for some forms you must use the form provided, these are listed as mandatory. Other forms can be adapted as long as the specific content is retained.

Document Name Mandatory Effective Date
Claim form Yes 1 April 2020
Device quote No 1 April 2020
Maintenance agreement No 1 April 2020
Private services and devices acknowledgement No 1 April 2020

New and updated forms will also be available on the Forms and Publications for professionals page.

To assist service providers with navigating the use of the new forms a Frequently Asked Questions page has been developed - FAQs - Provider Forms

Provider Feedback

The department welcomes any feedback you have on our provider supports. During the transition period we will be seeking provider and practitioner feedback on the transition, including factsheets and forms. A survey will be released during the transition period to seek feedback.

Further details will be provided on this page and by email.

Provider Self-Assessment

Due to the new instrument and contract, the annual provider self-assessment process will not be run in 2019. Instead, a Provider Readiness self-assessment will be run February to March 2020. This self-assessment will assess a provider’s readiness for 1 April 2020 when full compliance with the program requirements will be required.

Further information on the Provider Readiness Self Assessment Tool (SAT) will be provided on this page, by CSPN and by email in early 2020.

Additional Information

Updates to program website pages are notified through the RSS Feeds. Providers and practitioners can subscribe to the RSS Feeds on the website. Follow the instructions on the RSS Feed page to subscribe.

If you have any queries regarding the Provider Transition period or the new instrument and contract, please email hearing@health.gov.au, attention Program Management.

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