The professional management of each patient will be determined by the Chief, Audiology and Speech Pathology at the VA medical center that provides the patient care. The Chief of the Audiology and Speech Pathology Service determines whether the veteran should be referred to an Independent Hearing Aid Dispensing Program, referred to another Audiology Clinic, receive an itinerant visit by a VA audiologist, or referred to a private audiologist.
a. When a veteran is referred to another VA medical center, the referring station will send the veteran's audiological file, a VA Form 10-10EZ, Application for Medical Benefits, and any other pertinent data necessary to evaluate the veteran. The medical center that will be examining the veteran schedules the veteran's appointments and issues the appropriate hearing aid.
b. Referrals to a private audiologist will be coordinated through HAS and by the Chief, Audiology and Speech Service. After the private audiologist examines the veteran, the private audiologist sends the ear impression, the results of the hearing aid evaluation, and a recommendation as to the make and model of the hearing aid the veteran requires, to the referring VA Audiology and Speech Pathology Service. The VA Audiology and Speech Pathology Clinic will have the ear mold made, or order the custom hearing aid from the DDC, and return the hearing aid (and ear mold if it is an over-the-ear hearing aid) to the private hearing aid center for fitting.
c. Non-Contract Hearing Aids. All orders for non-contract hearing aids will be ordered by the PSAS when it is determined by the VA audiologist that a contract aid is not appropriate for the veteran's medical needs.
d. Foreign Countries. When an eligible veteran resides outside of the continental limits of the United States (U.S.), current model hearing aids may be furnished in accordance with the provision of Handbook 1173.2.