Australian Hearing has now released their upgrade criteria for the Nucleus 7 sound processor. However, due to limited funding, they will continue to prioritise ensuring that clients who use a cochlear implant are kept “on-air” by providing repairs, replacement parts and batteries necessary to keep the sound processor working and replacing speech processors that are lost or no longer able to be repaired.
The second priority is to provide access to newer technology, when this technology provides improved perception of speech for the listener. New speech processor technology may offer a range of features that can improve comfort, convenience or ease of use. However the focus of the upgrade program is on improving access to spoken language.
Given this, Australian Hearing will prioritise upgrades to those who have a Nucleus 5 processor or older models. Categories relating to the age of the current processor and the age of the child remain unchanged from the previous upgrade criteria. Unfortunately, those who have been fitted with an N6 do not meet the criteria for upgrade, regardless of how old their processor is.
The replacement/lost sound processor protocols have not changed. Sound processors that are lost or DBR within 12 months of fitting will be replaced with the same model as that which was lost/DBR. Lost or DBR processors that were fitted more than 12 months ago can be replaced with newer technology if clinically appropriate.
Please see the link below for details, however, in summary, Australian Hearing is not providing upgrades to those who are currently fit with Nucleus 6 sound processors.
The other possible upgrade pathway is through your private health insurance. Cochlear Limited is hoping to have the Nucleus 7 listed with private health insurance companies in March next year. We will update you further on this when we know more.
Please don’t hesitate to contact the reception at your centre or [email protected]rdcentre.org.au if you have any questions.