Partnering with a specialist, such as Australian Hearing, ensures that patients are given the support they need and have access to services that can minimise the impacts of hearing loss.
Who are Australian Hearing?
Australian Hearing are the largest provider of government funded hearing services. It’s the sole provider of specialist hearing services for children, adults under 26, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults over 50 and adults who require high-level specialist services. For more information visit the About Us page.
Why partner with Australian Hearing?
Australian Hearing provides over 445,000 hearing health appointments across 140 permanent hearing centres and 400 visiting sites. Through the Outreach program more than 220 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander urban and rural sites receive support and service with Australian Hearing.
The National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL) is the world-renowned research arm of Australian Hearing. Over 60% of all hearing aid fittings around the world are based on research from NAL.
Australian Hearing is researched backed and has extensive experience in helping health professionals with assessing and treating hearing loss. Learn more about how to refer your patients to Australian Hearing.
Why should health professionals be concerned about hearing health?
Currently one in six Australians has some form of hearing loss, and this is set to increase to one in four by 2050. It’s more crucial than ever to detect signs of hearing loss as quickly as possible to not increase an individual’s risk of developing other acute health conditions.
- Hearing loss and cerebral and cardiovascular disorders: Poor cardiovascular health causes inadequate blood flow and blood vessel trauma to the inner ear. Since this section of the ear is sensitive to blood flow disorders hearing loss, particularly at the lower frequencies, may be an early warning sign of cardiovascular disease.
- Hearing loss and diabetes: Researchers have discovered a higher rate of hearing loss in people with diabetes, and evidence exists that diabetes may lead to sensorineural hearing loss. This occurs by damaging the nerves and blood vessels of the inner ear due to the pathological changes that are associated with the condition.
- Hearing loss and cancer treatments: Research has revealed a strong link between hearing loss (and related conditions such as tinnitus) and cancer treatment. It’s important for both the doctor and patient to understand the risk of ototoxicity (ear poisoning) when treating cancer as it may lead to permanent hearing loss. While treatment is ongoing, an audiologist can assist with monitoring for ototoxicity and make recommendations for early intervention if possible.
- Hearing loss and mental health: Studies show that people who wear hearing aids are less affected by depression, have improved health, and experience a better sense of independence and control over their lives.
Essentially, the quicker hearing loss is treated the less impact it will have on a person’s life.
Improving your patients’ hearing health
Encourage patients over 60 to get a hearing test: hearing loss becomes more prevalent with age so it’s important to make it a part of their annual health assessment. Australian Hearing offers hearing checks for GPs at no extra cost to the practice.
Medicare claimable hearing checks at a GP Practice
- Performed at your clinic by a practice staff member.
- We train your staff member to perform the hearing check.
- We provide all the equipment required.
- If a patient requires further hearing assessment and they are eligible for the services, your practice can refer them to Australian Hearing.
- If a patient is not eligible, we provide further information on next steps.
- We can support the promotion of your hearing check service.
Non-claimable hearing checks at a GP practice or Australian Hearing centre
- We offer a free hearing check service for all adults at either at your practice or your local Australian Hearing centre.
- We work with your team to agree a date for your hearing clinic. We will attend your practice on an agreed date.
- We will support the promotion of the hearing check clinic.
Eligibility for government funded services
Australian Hearing’s services are covered under the Australian Government’s Hearing Services Program, administered by the Department of Health through the Office of Hearing Services (OHS).
All new applicants must be referred by a medical practitioner prior to accessing hearing services.
Eligible applicants for government funded services
- Pensioner Concession Card holders
- Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Repatriation Health Card holders
- Department of Veterans’ Affairs White Repatriation Health Card holders
- Recipients of a sickness allowance from Centrelink
- Members of the Australian Defence Forces
- Children and young adults up to the age of 26 years
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 50 years and over.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples participating in Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP)
- Adults with complex rehabilitation hearing needs
Services offered to eligible applicants
- Hearing assessments
- Fitting of hearing aids
- Access to the latest digital hearing technology, including assistive listening devices
- Repair and maintenance of hearing devices, including supply of batteries.
- On-going follow up care and advice
- Rehabilitation programs
- Education for GPs about hearing health
- Access to translators, and patient information in multiple languages
To find out more about how Australian Hearing can work with your practice we’re always happy to chat.