BRS Hearing Aid Procurement Information

Maine Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) has entered into a contractual agreement to procure hearing aids for eligible Maine clients of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. This contract is in the form of a cooperative multi-state agreement, in association with Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin. The State of Maine, after exploring this approach, has decided to proceed with these new contracts which took effect on October 4, 2010.

Forms and Contacts

State of Maine Purchases Department

Process

The following is a step-by-step explanation detailing how this new process is expected to flow:

  • A person with a hearing loss is referred by a BRS vocational rehabilitation counselor to an audiologist for a hearing evaluation.
  • The audiologist completes the evaluation (with billing directed to the appropriate insurance or other payment mechanism), and sends a written report to the counselor (using the HEARING AID ORDER FORM), which, if applicable, includes a recommendation for monaural or binaural hearing aids offered through the State of Maine's aforementioned hearing aid contracts.
  • If a recommended hearing aid is not included in the contract the BRS vocational rehabilitation counselor will provide a justification of why the client requires a hearing aid not on the contract and send to Terry Morrell, DDHHLD director, using the HEARING AID SECOND OPINION FORM.
  • After counseling and writing the purchase of the hearing aid(s) into a vocational plan for employment (this includes documentation regarding discussion with client about how much they are able to contribute toward the cost of the aids) the vocational rehabilitation counselor will determine if the client has health insurance coverage and fill out the hearing aid protocol health insurance worksheet with the client. If it is determined the protocol should be followed the vocational rehabilitation counselor, then sends an official State of Maine order and authorization for payment to the manufacturer with instructions to send the hearing aid(s) to the audiologist/dispenser for fitting.
  • A pre-authorization for charges up to either $550.00 or $800.00 (minus client contribution) - if clients want to make contribution towards purchase of hearing aid, it is preferred that they make the contribution to audiologists. If clients prefer to make contribution to DVR/DBVI then they can give check to counselors and counselors would give tech checks to their supervisors, who will forward to the DOL services center. In addition, this payment to the audiologist may include tech cost of the ear molds (for behind tech ear molds only) if applicable ($50.00 each). The audiologist/dispenser then schedules an appointment with the client for ear molds to be made.
  • Once the audiologist/dispenser receives the hearing aid from the manufacturer, he/she schedules an initial fitting appointment with the client.
  • Depending on need, the audiologist/dispenser will complete follow-up visits for alterations to the hearing aid programming over the following month.
  • After a minimum of 30 days, and when satisfaction is conveyed by the client to the vocational rehabilitation counselor and the audiologist/dispenser, the audiologist/dispenser will send an invoice along with authorization to the vocational rehabilitation program for payment.
  • Vocational rehabilitation clerical staff will process the authorization for payment.

Please visit the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services web site for more information on the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired websites.

If you have any questions regarding the Hearing Aid Procurement Process, please contact

Terry Morrell, Director
Terry.L.Morrell@maine.gov
Division for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Late Deafened
(207) 470-7668 (video phone)

Nancy Winter
Nancy.A.Winter@maine.gov
Division for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Late Deafened
(207) 623-7958 or (207) 623-7998 TTY