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Hearing Services Voucher Rules 1997

Authoritative Version
Rules/Other as amended, taking into account amendments up to Hearing Services Voucher Amendment Rules 2000 (No. 1)
Administered by: Health
Registered 27 Oct 2006
Start Date 01 Jul 2000

Hearing Services Voucher Rules 1997

as amended

made under subsection 11 (1) of the

This compilation was prepared on 10 October 2000
taking into account amendments up to Hearing Services Voucher Amendment
Rules 2000 (No. 1)

The text of any of those amendments not in force
on that date is appended in the Notes section

Prepared by the Office of Legislative Drafting
Attorney‑General’s Department, Canberra


Contents

Part 1                    Preliminary                                                                                     

                        1     Name of Rules [see Note 1]                                                                  3

                        2     Commencement                                                                                  3

                        3     Definitions                                                                                           3

                        4     Purpose of Rules                                                                                 4

                        5     Application form                                                                                  4

Part 2                    Issuing vouchers                                                                         

                        6     Applying for voucher                                                                             5

                        7     Issuing voucher                                                                                   5

                        8     Replacement voucher                                                                           5

Part 3                    Using vouchers                                                                            

                        9     Using voucher                                                                                     6

                       10     Replacement hearing devices                                                               6

                       11     Validity of voucher                                                                               6

                       12     Revalidation of voucher                                                                         7

Notes                                                                                                                                8

 


Part 1                 Preliminary

  

1              Name of Rules [see Note 1]

                These Rules are the Hearing Services Voucher Rules 1997.

2              Commencement

                These Rules commence on 1 November 1997.

3              Definitions

                In these Rules:

Act means the Hearing Services Administration Act 1997.

approved form means the application form approved under subrule 5 (1) or 12 (4), as the case requires.

clinical hearing services means hearing assessment, device fitting and evaluation and auditory communication training and advice.

hearing device means goods for purposes in connection with hearing rehabilitation, and includes the earmould and any other attachments necessary for the operation of the device.

hearing services practitioner means a person who is:

                (a)    engaged by a contracted service provider to provide clinical hearing services to voucher‑holders; and

               (b)    accepted by the Office as qualified to provide those services.

maintenance service means any of the following services:

                (a)    servicing a hearing device to the extent necessary to achieve functionality;

               (b)    giving advice to a voucher‑holder about the use or servicing of a hearing device;

                (c)    providing and replacing the batteries forming part of a hearing device.

Example of service:

Replacement of electronic components; adjustment of the earmould of a hearing device.

medical practitioner means a person who, under the law of a State or Territory, is a legally qualified medical practitioner.

Office means the Office of Hearing Services within the Department.

Note   A number of expressions used in these rules are defined in the Hearing Services Administration Act 1997 (see s 4), including:

·         accredited service provider

·         contracted service provider

·         eligible person

·         hearing services

·         participant in the voucher system

·         voucher

·         voucher‑holder.

4              Purpose of Rules

         (1)   Under section 10 of the Act, the Minister has the function of issuing vouchers to participants in the voucher system established under the Act.

         (2)   Under subsection 11 (1) of the Act, the Minister may formulate rules relating to vouchers.

         (3)   A voucher represents an entitlement to 1 or more specified hearing services.

Note   The hearing services for which a voucher may be used are set out in Table B in s 6 of the Hearing Services (Participants in the Voucher System) Determination 1997, made under s 13 (1) of the Act.

5              Application form

         (1)   The Minister may approve, in writing, an application form for the issue of a voucher.

         (2)   The form may require the applicant:

                (a)    to give the Commonwealth the information necessary to establish whether the applicant is an eligible person; and

               (b)    to authorise the Commonwealth to verify the information in it.

         (3)   The form must require an applicant who has not previously applied for a voucher to obtain a certificate from a medical practitioner stating whether there are any medical contraindications to the fitting of the applicant with a hearing device.

         (4)   The form must require an applicant who has previously been fitted with a hearing device to obtain a certificate from a hearing services practitioner or a medical practitioner stating that the applicant needs the hearing service applied for.

         (5)   The form must require the applicant to authorise the Commonwealth to:

                (a)    store the information contained in the application; and

               (b)    disclose that information to other agencies for the purpose of checking the applicant’s eligibility for a voucher.


 

Part 2                 Issuing vouchers

  

6              Applying for voucher

                A person who wishes to have a voucher (the applicant) may apply to the Minister in the approved form.

7              Issuing voucher

         (1)   The Minister may issue a voucher to the applicant only if:

                (a)    the applicant is an eligible person; and

               (b)    the application was made in the approved form; and

                (c)    the application form was properly completed; and

               (d)    the Minister is satisfied that issuing the voucher is reasonable, having regard to:

                          (i)    the applicant’s circumstances; and

                         (ii)    the funds available to the Commonwealth for hearing services; and

                         (iii)    the demand for hearing services.

Notes

1.   In administering these Rules, the Minister is also required to have regard to the limited resources available to provide services and programs under the Act, and also the need to consider equity and merit in accessing the resources: see Act, s 8 (1).

2.   A decision refusing to issue a voucher is subject to reconsideration by the Minister and review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal: see Act, ss 29 and 35.

         (2)   The voucher must specify:

                (a)    its date of issue; and

               (b)    the service or services for which it is issued; and

                (c)    the date by which it must be first presented to a contracted service provider for an assessment of hearing loss as part of the provision of a hearing service; and

               (d)    the name of the voucher‑holder; and

                (e)    any other relevant matters.

8              Replacement voucher

                If a voucher‑holder satisfies the Minister that the holder has a current voucher that has been defaced or destroyed, or has been lost and is unlikely to be found, the Minister must issue a replacement voucher in the same terms as the original.

Note   A decision refusing to issue a replacement voucher is subject to reconsideration by the Minister and review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal: see Act, ss 29 and 35.


 

Part 3                 Using vouchers

  

9              Using voucher

         (1)   A voucher may be used only by the person to whom it is issued, and only for a hearing service for which it is issued.

         (2)   The voucher is available for a hearing service only if:

                (a)    the service is provided by a contracted service provider; and

               (b)    the voucher‑holder presents the voucher to the service provider within the period for which the voucher is valid; and

                (c)    for a maintenance service — the voucher‑holder pays the service provider the amount (if any) that the voucher‑holder is required to pay for the service.

         (3)   However, paragraph (2) (c) does not apply if:

                (a)    the contracted service provider declines to accept payment for the service; or

               (b)    the contracted service provider agrees to accept a lesser payment, and the voucher‑holder pays the lesser amount.

10            Replacement hearing devices

         (1)   This rule applies if:

                (a)    a voucher has been used by the voucher‑holder to obtain a hearing device; and

               (b)    the voucher‑holder satisfies the Minister that, on the basis of information set out in a statutory declaration by the voucher‑holder, the device has been:

                          (i)    destroyed; or

                         (ii)    lost, and is unlikely to be found; or

                         (iii)    damaged, and cannot reasonably be repaired.

         (2)   The Minister may authorise a contracted service provider to use the voucher to replace the device with a similar device or a reasonable alternative approved by the Minister.

11            Validity of voucher

         (1)   A voucher ceases to have effect for all of the services for which it was issued if it is not presented to a contracted service provider, as part of the provision of any of the services, by the date by which it must be first presented to a contracted service provider for an assessment of hearing loss as part of the provision of a hearing service.

         (2)   Following its first presentation, a voucher can be used at any time to receive the hearing services specified on it, at the convenience of the voucher holder.

         (3)   A voucher ceases to have effect after being used to receive the specified hearing services, except for specified maintenance services.

         (4)   A voucher will continue to have effect for specified maintenance services in accordance with the Hearing Services (Participants in the Voucher System) Determination 1997.

12            Revalidation of voucher

         (1)   This rule applies if:

                (a)    a voucher‑holder has used the voucher to receive the specified hearing services; and

               (b)    the voucher‑holder applies, in the approved form, to the Minister for revalidation of the voucher for specified hearing services; and

                (c)    the Minister is satisfied that revalidating the voucher is reasonable, having regard to:

                          (i)    the voucher‑holder’s clinical need for the services; and

                         (ii)    the voucher‑holder’s eligibility to receive hearing services under the Act; and

                         (iii)    the condition of the hearing aid (for example, whether it is damaged beyond repair); and

                        (iv)    the date when hearing services were last received; and

                         (v)    the funds available to the Commonwealth for hearing services; and

                        (vi)    the demand for hearing services.

         (2)   If this rule applies, the Minister may revalidate a voucher by amending the specified hearing services that may be received by the voucher‑holder.

         (3)   As amended, a voucher may only be used by the voucher‑holder for the specified hearing services for which it has been revalidated.

         (4)   For subrule (1), the Minister may approve, in writing, an application form for revalidation of a voucher.

         (5)   The form must require the voucher‑holder to obtain a certificate from a hearing services practitioner or a medical practitioner stating that the voucher‑holder needs the hearing services applied for.

Notes

1.   The hearing services for which a voucher may be revalidated are set out in Table B in s 6 of the Hearing Services (Participants in the Voucher System) Determination 1997, made under s 13 (1) of the Act.

2.   A decision refusing to revalidate a voucher is subject to reconsideration by the Minister and review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal: see Act, ss 29 and 35.


Notes to the Hearing Services Voucher Rules 1997

Note 1

The Hearing Services Voucher Rules 1997 (in force under subsection 11 (1) of the Hearing Services Administration Act 1997) as shown in this compilation is amended as indicated in the Tables below.

Table of Instruments

Title

Date of notification
in Gazette

Date of
commencement

Application, saving or
transitional provisions

Hearing Services Voucher Rules 1997

24 Sept 1997
(see Gazette 1997, No. S370)

1 Nov 1997

 

Hearing Services Voucher Amendment Rules 1999 (No. 1)

29 June 1999 (see Gazette 1999, No. S278)

1 July 1999

Hearing Services Voucher Amendment Rules 2000 (No. 1)

28 June 2000 (see Gazette 2000, No. GN25)

1 July 2000

Table of Amendments

ad. = added or inserted      am. = amended      rep. = repealed      rs. = repealed and substituted

 

Provision affected

How affected

Part 1

 

S. 1.........................................

rs. 1999 No. 1

S. 3.........................................

am. 2000 No. 1

S. 5.........................................

am. 2000 No. 1

Part 2

 

S. 7.........................................

am. 2000 No. 1

Part 3

 

S. 10.......................................

am. 1999 No. 1; 2000 No. 1

S. 12.......................................

am. 2000 No. 1