Managing Hearing Services Program client details

Hearing Services Program providers must meet program requirements when dealing with clients and their health records, and when fitting hearing devices. This includes getting consent from clients and managing records in line with relevant laws.

Obtaining client consent

To protect the privacy of Hearing Services Program clients, only their chosen provider can:

  • see their personal and health details in the portal
  • get access to the client’s existing client record.

Before you can access their records, you must obtain consent from either the client or their power of attorney.

You must get either verbal or written consent before:

  • transferring and linking the client to your business in the portal
  • providing any Hearing Services Program services.

You must keep this on the client's record.

To find out how, read the section on documenting consent and agreement in the Schedule of Services Items and Fees.

You can then access and edit the client’s records in the portal, using their:

  • eligibility number
  • first and last name
  • date of birth.

People who do not have power of attorney can’t give consent on a client’s behalf. This includes family members, carers or staff in residential aged care facilities.

Managing client records

Client personal and health information is classified as sensitive under the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles.

You must manage, store, transfer and dispose of client records in accordance with your contract and relevant legislation.

Read more in our provider handbook.

Telehealth

If the technology allows and it won’t compromise client outcomes, you can deliver services by telehealth for:

  • fitting services – you must get written agreement for device quotes
  • follow-up appointments – if there are no issues with comfort, sound quality or management
  • client reviews – if clinically appropriate
  • device replacements – if the new device is the same as the old one and is programmed before sending, and the client has had no change in ear and hearing health
  • spare aids fittings – if the spare aid is the same as the primary device, and that device is performing well
  • rehabilitation and Rehab Plus services.

Read more in the schedule of service items and fees.

Private services and devices

The program does not reimburse private services. If a client is eligible to receive services that are available through the program you must not charge a client for those services.

A private service to a client who is eligible for the program is one that is:

  • not available to them on their current voucher
  • not available to them as a revalidated service.

If you deliver private services, you must give clients enough information to enable them to make informed choices about their hearing services. You must then have them sign a private services acknowledgment form to keep on their record.

Read more about private services and devices in the schedule.

Client relocations

When a client transfers to a new provider:

  • the new provider should obtain the client’s consent to transfer and to access the client records
  • the new provider should complete the transfer in the portal
  • we will notify the former provider via email
  • the former provider should send the client record to the new provider
  • the former provider should submit any outstanding claims within 28 days of the date of notification
  • the new provider should check with the previous provider whether they have any outstanding claims for the client.

For more information, read our provider handbook.

Refusing service

You can refuse services in reasonable circumstances, such as for people displaying aggressive, inappropriate or threatening behaviour. If you do this:

  • inform the client of the reason within a reasonable timeframe
  • provide the client with an opportunity to respond – letting them know the timeframe and how to respond (such as by phone, email or letter)
  • direct the client to our directory to find another provider, or give them our contact details
  • email us a copy of your correspondence with the client
  • document the event in the client’s records
  • forward the client’s original file (and copies of the client’s claim forms) to the client’s new provider when you get notification through the portal that the client has chosen a new provider.

Portal outages

If the portal is down and you can’t issue a voucher, reschedule the appointment. If that’s not possible:

  • check the client’s eligibility card to make sure they are entitled to receive Hearing Services Program services
  • email us the client’s 4 points of identification, date and time of their appointment and what services you are providing
  • if it is for a new client, email us their application form.

Related information

Contact

Hearing Services Program contact

Contact us for information about the Hearing Services Program.
Program contact
National Relay Service
Date last updated:

Help us improve health.gov.au

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.