Home' Accord : Accord June 2014 Contents DVA - HSV22 Fact sheet continued 19
Australian College of Audiology (Inc ACT)
Suite 7, 4th Fl, 201 Wickham Terrace
SPRING HILL QLD 4000
07 3839 1622
07 3839 1822
1800 803 128
ABN 97 679 977 894
ARBN 115 806 061
2 April 2014
I hope you are keeping well. I am writing to you in the hope you are able to assist us with an issue
that has been raised by some of our members. The attached fact sheet from DVA makes certain
statements about top-up hearing aids that we would like to challenge. We agree that there should
be no pressure on any client to top up if not necessary, we also applaud the action by DVA to help
their clients understand what is often a misconception that DVA will pay for top -up devices.
However the fact sheet makes some statements that we cannot agree with and have
been highlighted in yellow in the attached document for your reference.
As you may or may not be aware it is a requirement of the OHS contract that clinicians advise clients
of the availability of both Free to client and Top-up options.
OHS free to client devices are good quality, with features that have improved over the years and in
many cases are adequate for the client’s needs. However, there are clear advantages with more
advanced devices and whilst a free to client device may fit the clinical needs, ie, the hearing loss, it
may not satisfactorily meet the lifestyle needs which is a clinical focus of the rehabilitation process.
This may be because the person is very active and serves on committees, for example like yourself,
or has particular difficulty in hearing in background noise.
In particular If free to client (FTC) devices met all client needs, then OHS would have no need to
offer Top-up devices as part of the system in the first place. The fact sheet also questions the
professionalism of clinicians, as the statements made by DVA indicates clinicians are
recommending hearing aids that exceed the needs of the client, or not advising the client that a
FTC hearing aid may not be adequate to meet all their needs. Either scenario is considered a
breach of ethics for a clinician.
It is clinically unsound for DVA to be advising their clients the free devices will meet all their clinical
needs. The only person that fully understands the clinical needs and is able to make a proper
judgment on this is the client’s clinician.
Whilst many FTC hearing aids have great features, different hearing aids have different features at
the FTC level but not always the combination required for a particular client. For example, while
some hearing aids have WiFi capabilities, others are designed for severe high frequency losses
where the cochlea is essentially not functioning and shift the signal to frequencies where the client
can hear. If a client has this type of hearing loss (and many DVA clients do, due to the nature of
their noise exposure) they often require both features to meet their needs in which case there are no
devices that offer both of these features at the FTC level and a top -up device would be the
best recommendation in this instance. Fitting either one or the other would only meet half the
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