FAQs for Healthcare Service Providers
Healthcare Service Providers Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
A: The following healthcare professionals who are registered in Hong Kong and practise in private sector are eligible to enrol in the Scheme: medical practitioners, registered Chinese medicine practitioners, dentists, chiropractors, registered nurses and enrolled nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, radiographers, medical laboratory technologists, and optometrists (in Part I of the register).
Audiologists, dietitians, clinical psychologists and speech therapists registered with the relevant healthcare professional body accredited under Accredited Registers Scheme for Healthcare Professions of the Government are also eligible to enroll in the Scheme.
A: Advance enrolment of service providers participating in the Scheme is required to facilitate the creation of service provider account to access the electronic eHealth System (Subsidies) as well as the distribution of the Scheme logo, authentication token and Smart ID Card reader, etc.
A: Upon receipt of an enrolment application, The Department of health will inform the healthcare service provider the preliminary result of his/her application in writing in about 14 working days.
A: To facilitate the administrative work for processing claims and reimbursement of health care vouchers, the enrolled healthcare service provider can create "data entry accounts" to delegate the data management work to their data entry clerks. Please refer to the following link (https://apps.hcv.gov.hk/HCSP/Demo/EN/serviceprovider.htm) for the steps in creating the data entry account. The enrolled healthcare service provider should log in the eHealth System (Subsidies) daily for checking and confirming the voucher account being created and claims information entered through the "data entry accounts". Advance enrolment with DH is not required for data entry clerks.
A: Enrolment to the Scheme is not made solely in the name of a clinic or a hospital. Healthcare service providers practising in a medical organization should be enrolled as individual healthcare professionals together with their medical organization. The place of practice (e.g. the clinic) as well as the bank account designated for the reimbursement of the voucher claims should be specified during enrolment.
II. Services covered by the Scheme
A: Health care vouchers can be used for private (unsubsidized) healthcare services. Based on principle of avoiding double subsidy by the Government, unless otherwise specified, vouchers cannot be used for public services or those directly subsidized by the Government (including the publicly subsidized healthcare services purchased from the private sector). Health care vouchers can be used for healthcare services provided by charitable organizations, non-profit making organizations or other non-government organizations as long as the aforesaid principle is complied with.
A: Vouchers shall not be used only to purchase products not otherwise provided/ prescribed by enrolled healthcare service providers, such as hearing aids or medical equipment. However, vouchers can be used for the treatments or services prescribed and provided by enrolled healthcare service providers (including audiologists enrolled in the Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme) in their professional capacities to meet the healthcare needs of elderly persons after consultation, as well as the medications, healthcare products and medical equipment, etc. provided to the elderly persons during the course of treatment. In this regard, the healthcare service providers shall assume professional responsibility towards the elderly persons.
A: It depends on the nature of the organizations by which the community nurses are employed. The eligible person can use health care vouchers to pay the services provided by the community nurses employed by private institutions. The principle is to avoid double subsidy by the Government.
A: No. The Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme aims at enhancing the primary healthcare services for the elderly person. Therefore the voucher cannot be used for in-patient services.
A: Yes, if the A&E services belong to out-patient services and no in-patient services are involved, the voucher can then be used for paying such services. Yet, as the Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme aims at enhancing the primary healthcare services for the elderly persons, we hope that healthcare service providers can encourage elderly persons to use their health care vouchers for primary healthcare services.
A: Yes. Health care vouchers can be used for preventive and curative services performed at private out-patient clinics.
A: No. The Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme aims at enhancing the primary healthcare services for the elderly persons, and therefore is not applicable to day surgery procedures.
A: No. Health care vouchers are for use in private healthcare “services”, and cannot be used for solely purchasing products such as medications, spectacles, dried seafood, personal care products, food products or medical equipment.
III. Handling health care vouchers
A: Activation of the service provider account should be done within 21 days of the date of issuance of the confirmation letter. If an account is not activated within 21 days, the application for enrolment may be regarded as withdrawn and the healthcare service provider may have to re-apply for enrolment.
A: Eligible elderly persons have to receive healthcare services in person provided by the enrolled healthcare service providers before they can use their vouchers to settle the relevant service fees. With a view to protecting the right and interest of elderly persons in using vouchers, healthcare service providers must request elderly persons to show their original HKIC for verification of identity. Any person who makes use of other's HKIC (e.g. a deceased elderly person) to use the latter's unspent vouchers might be charged of fraud and subject to criminal liability. The enrolled healthcare service provider involved in the case might also be subject to investigation and even criminal liability.
A: Before an enrolled healthcare service provider deduct vouchers from an elderly person’s account, verbal consent has to be obtained from the elderly person on the amount of vouchers to be deducted to settle his/her healthcare service fee and subsequently asking the elderly persons to give consent via electronic consent form (or paper consent form if the smart ID card reader malfunctions). Enrolled healthcare service providers are also required to give a copy of the “Notice on Use of Health Care Voucher” to the elderly person for retention and keep their paper consent forms (if any) for inspection by the Government representatives to ensure that public funds are properly used.
A: If the system is unable to read the elderly person’s personal information from his/ her HKIC through inserting it in the smart ID card reader (including malfunctioning of the smart ID card reader) or in the case of a mentally incapacitated elderly person who requires a guardian to exercise consent, a signed paper consent form may be used in lieu of the electronic consent form for confirming the voucher amount to be used.
A: The consent forms should be retained until the expiry of 7 complete financial years of the Government from the calendar year in which the relevant reimbursements are made to the healthcare service provider or his/her medical organization or until any dispute between the parties in relation to the Scheme is settled or adjudicated, whichever is the later.
A: If the elderly person is illiterate, he/she can put a mark or finger print on the space for signature to indicate that he/she understands and agrees with the amount of vouchers deducted in the presence of an adult as witness. The enrolled healthcare service provider needs to show the witness the “Consent of Witness/Guardian to Transfer Personal Data” which contains the terms that they are required to consent to and the statement of purpose. After reading the above document, the witness should write his/her name, HKIC number and date on the consent form and sign it. The document “Consent of Witness/Guardian to Transfer Personal Data” is available for downloading here.
A: Yes. The witness should write his/her name, HKIC number and date on the consent form and sign it (applicable to paper consent form).
A: This may be caused by errors in the elderly persons’ data inputted by the enrolled healthcare service provider through the eHealth System (Subsidies). We recommend that the enrolled healthcare service provider should check for any discrepancy between the data inputted and that of the elderly person’s existing records in the clinic (e.g. medical record). The enrolled healthcare service providers should contact the elderly person concerned for rectification if required and then rectify the elderly person’s inputted data as soon as possible. To avoid possible errors through manual input of elderly persons’ data, enrolled healthcare service providers are recommended to make use of the Smart ID Card reader provided and request the elderly persons to insert their HKIC into the reader for direct capturing of the required data into the eHealth System (Subsidies).
A: Please explain to the elderly person that health care vouchers can only be claimed upon presentation of a valid HKIC or Certificate of Exemption.
A: For those who do not have a computer, they can use smartphones or any device with commonly used browser to access eHealth System (Subsidies) for making voucher claims. For those who do not have a printer, they can bring along with them pre-printed consent forms and write down the elderly persons’ basic information (e.g. the name, HKIC number and the amount of vouchers to be deducted, etc.) for signing by the elderly person. The transaction number generated by the eHealth System (Subsidies) after the transaction should be marked on the consent form accordingly.
A: The will of the elderly person should be respected.
A: Guardians are given the legal power by the Guardianship Board to make important decisions relating to personal circumstances for such adults about his/her place of residence or consenting to his/her medical or dental treatment. Guardians may also be given legal power to manage a limited amount of that person’s money. For cases with the Director of Social Welfare as the legal guardian, they will be followed up by social workers of the Social Welfare Department. Regarding elderly persons who are incapable of making their own decisions and have no legal guardian, issues concerned are usually handled by their family members or social workers (not duly authorized) on the premise that the benefit and welfare of the elderly persons are safeguarded. The above arrangements are applicable to the Scheme. The enrolled healthcare service provider needs to show the guardian the “Consent of Witness/Guardian to Transfer Personal Data” which contains the terms that they are required to consent to and the statement of purpose. After reading the above document, the guardian should write his/her name, HKIC number and date on the consent form and sign it. The document “Consent of Witness/Guardian to Transfer Personal Data” is available for downloading here.
A: If the enrolled healthcare service provider loses the material provided by the Department of Health, he/she should approach the Health Care Voucher Division (HCVD) to report the loss and request for replacement. HCVD may collect fee from the service provider for the replacement of the material.
IV. Shared Use of Vouchers between Spouses
A: The elderly person and his/her spouse may visit the practice of an enrolled healthcare service providers together under consent when either of them needs to use the vouchers and present their HKIC or the "Certificate of Exemption" issued by the Immigration Department, and declares their spousal relationship, the healthcare service provider can link up their voucher accounts in the eHealth System (Subsidies). From the same day onwards, either party of the elderly couple can, upon exhaustion of his/her account balance, use his/her spouse’s voucher for private primary healthcare services, until either parties opt out by written request.
A: If for specific reasons, such as physical impairment/ immobility, bedriddenness, etc., the spouse is unable to visit the practice of an enrolled healthcare service provider with the elderly person to link up their voucher accounts, the elderly person and his/her spouse may download the “Consent of Sharing Health Care Vouchers between Voucher Recipients in Spousal Relationship” from the health care voucher webpage and submit the duly completed and signed form to the enrolled healthcare service provider when the service recipient receives healthcare services.
A: Upon successful voucher accounts linkage, the elderly person may choose to use his/ her spouse’s vouchers when his/her account balance is exhausted. There is no cap on the amount to be used, provided that the amount to be used does not exceed the cost of the healthcare services received. The biennial Quota of $2,000 for optometry services for each eligible elderly person remains unchanged (i.e. the quota for optometry services cannot be shared).
A: One of the guiding principles for handling voucher accounts linkage is to provide maximum convenience to the elderly through streamlined procedures. Therefore, elderly persons are not required to submit documentary proof of spousal relationship. However, elderly persons should clearly understand the legal liability/ consequences for declaring spousal relationship. In addition, to prevent the abuse of health care vouchers, the Department of Health may require elderly persons to provide relevant documentary proof (such as marriage certificate) in respect of suspected cases and may also refer such cases to the law enforcement agency for follow-up actions.
The Department of Health will provide an information sheet to healthcare service providers facilitate explanations to elderly persons.
A: No. Should the elderly person wishes to use his/her spouse's health care vouchers, he/she must present a copy of his/her spouse's latest HKIC. A copy of Hong Kong passport is not acceptable.
A: The healthcare service provider may first verify in the system if the Hong Kong mobile phone number of the elderly person and his/her spouse are correctly entered. If change of the Hong Kong mobile phone number is required, please contact the Health Care Voucher Division for assistance.
A: Yes. The elderly person may opt out of sharing vouchers with his/her spouse by submitting a written request to the Health Care Vouchers Division. The form is available at this link.
A: Healthcare service provider may change the accounts linkage for the elderly person after ascertaining his/her intention. The healthcare service provider can change accounts linkage information in the eHealth System (Subsidies) for the elderly person after he/she and his/her spouse have declared spousal relationship consented to share-use their vouchers. However, each elderly person may only change pairing of his/her spouse once in a calendar year.
A: No. The Agreement between the Government and healthcare service providers sets out that neither the enrolled health care provider nor his Associated Organization may charge any person any fees for creating an eHealth (Subsidies) Account; or pairing or un-pairing of two eHealth (Subsidies) Accounts; or using an eHealth (Subsidies) Account.
A: No. Even after registering for shared use of vouchers, the voucher account balance of the deceased will not be transferred to the voucher account of the surviving spouse. An elderly person using the vouchers of the deceased may be charged for offences such as fraud and subject to criminal liability. Any person involved in such cases may also be subject to criminal liability.
V. Elderly Health Care Voucher Pilot Reward Scheme
A: To encourage the more effective use of private primary healthcare services by elderly persons, a three-year (i.e. from 2024 to 2026) “Elderly Health Care Voucher Pilot Reward Scheme” is launched under the Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme. An eligible elderly person who has accumulated use of $1,000 or above vouchers on designated primary healthcare services such as disease prevention or health management within the same year will be allotted $500 reward to his or her voucher account automatically for use on the same purposes. The reward will expire by the end of the following year, and will lapse after the expiry date. The Government has made a special arrangement to allow elderly persons to advance the accumulation of voucher spending for the 2024 reward from 13 November 2023.
A: The reward allotted could be used for receiving designated primary healthcare services in the next visit.
- services on preventive and follow-up/ monitoring of long term conditions provided by medical practitioners, Chinese medicine practitioners and dentists enrolled in the Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme, for example:
- Medical practitioners: health assessment, body check, screening, vaccination, prescription of preventive drugs, and treatment for chronic diseases, etc.;
- Chinese medicine practitioners: health assessment and chronic disease management, etc.;
- Dentists: dental examination, scaling, extraction and filing, etc.;
- services provided under the Chronic Disease Co-Care Pilot Scheme, including hypertension and diabetes mellitus screening services; medical consultations, drugs (if applicable), laboratory investigations, nurse clinic services and allied health services in the treatment phase;
- personalised service at District Health Centres/District Health Centre Expresses, including the Chronic Disease Management Programme on osteoarthritic knee pain and low back pain; as well as the Community Rehabilitation Programme focusing on post-myocardial infarction, hip fracture and stroke, etc.; and
- outpatient services on preventive and follow-up/monitoring of long term conditions provided at the 11 designated Outpatient Medical Centers of the University of Hong Kong - Shenzhen Hospital, i.e. Family Medicine Clinic, Health Assessment and Management Center, Accident and Emergency Department, Orthopedic Clinic, Ophthalmology Clinic, Dental Clinic, Chinese Medicine Clinic, Medicine Clinic, Gynaecology Clinic, Surgery Clinic, Rehabilitation Clinic; and the Huawei Li Zhi Yuan Community Health Center.
A: The reward allotted will be kept separate from the annual voucher amount for each elderly person. The accumulation limit of vouchers will not be affected.
A: If the remaining balance of an elderly person’s voucher account is exhausted and his/her spouse’s voucher is used to pay for designated primary healthcare services, the amount spent will be recorded as his/her own accumulated amount of voucher spending (i.e. service recipient’s instead of his/her spouse’s).
A: The quota on optometry services (irrespective of whether the optometry services are provided under the Chronic Disease Co-Care Pilot Scheme or not) for each elderly person remains unchanged at $2,000 every two year after the launch of the Elderly Health Care Voucher Pilot Reward Scheme.
A: The workflow in the eHealth System (Subsidies) for healthcare service providers to make voucher claims relating to the Elderly Health Care Voucher Pilot Reward Scheme and other claims is the same. When using the eHealth System (Subsidies) to make a voucher claim, if a healthcare service provider has selected a principal reason for visit which falls under the designated primary healthcare services, the eHealth System (Subsidies) will automatically record it as an eligible voucher amount for earning reward or allot reward to the elderly person’s voucher account for his/her use in the next visit. If an elderly person chooses to use vouchers after receiving designated healthcare services provided by a healthcare service provider and there is remaining balance of reward in his/her voucher account, the system will automatically deduct the relevant fee from the reward before deducting the remaining fee from the voucher balance in his/her voucher account if necessary. As usual, the principal reason for visit is determined by the healthcare service provider under professional judgement.
A: In case of the above situation (especially if reward accumulation or allotment is affected), please contact the Health Care Voucher Division for assistance as soon as possible.
A: Mutual agreement on the reimbursement arrangement should be sought between the healthcare service providers and medical organizations. They can choose to collect reimbursement through the account of one of the concerned parties. The nominated account for reimbursement should be indicated in the “Authority for Payment to a Bank” Form by both healthcare service providers and their medical organizations during the enrolment application.
VII. Use of eHealth System (Subsidies)
A: The enrolled healthcare service providers may read the “Technical Problems” under the FAQs in the eHealth System (Subsidies). The section can be accessed through the following link (https://apps.hcv.gov.hk/Documents/FAQs_e.pdf#SP).
A: Eligible elderly persons can continue to use their vouchers after replacing their HKIC. However, as the particular of an elderly person shown on his/her HKIC (e.g. date of issue) would be updated upon replacement of the elderly person's existing HKIC, you are suggested to use Smart ID card reader to make voucher claims to allow automatic update and validation of such particulars, thus saving your time and workload in verifying the updated particulars.
Health Care Voucher Division
Department of Health
"Scan QR Code" in WeChat and tap "..." to share.