Background to Changes

In early 2018, it was flagged that a comprehensive review of Australia’s Private Health Insurance industry was required.

Specifically, it was announced that a number of natural therapies were ineligible for Private Health Insurance rebates.

The Australian Government’s original position was that Pilates would not be rebatable, regardless of who/how it was delivered.

Consequently, this resulted in a massive backlash from key peak bodies within the healthcare industry. At the forefront of this was the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA).

Role of the APA

Our peak body, the APA, has kept an open line of communication throughout the past 12 months with all physiotherapists who run Pilates classes.

They have negotiated with the Department of Health and Private Health Insurers for a fair and equitable outcome.

They have relentlessly pursued some common ground for us, as health professionals, to move forward with.

The outcome of the APA’s efforts

An insurer will pay benefits if a physiotherapist provides services to a patient within the accepted scope of clinical practice. Therefore, this can include exercises or techniques drawn from Pilates as part of that patient’s treatment. I am excited abut this terrific news!

Our response to the changes

Firstly, we are very happy with this outcome. It will improve Pilates-informed Physiotherapy through a renewed focus on assessment, monitoring and outcome measures.

We have reviewed how our practises are run; our classes are Physiotherapy-driven anyway. We tailor our classes to suit the individual ie. Different levels/sets/progressions.

We are also going to include a review at the end of each term to further enhance the client’s treatment outcomes.

Pilates Reformer class

Client communication

We have started this dialogue with our loyal clients from late 2018 to flag the upcoming changes. It is not going to affect the way we treat you.

I always ask myself when a new client comes through the door of what the optimal long-term treatment plan will look like and converse this to the individual.

It is often the case as you move away from hands-on physiotherapy that you will get more benefit from a Clinical Matwork or Reformer Class as you progress. Every individual is different and we plan to recognise that with our classes capped at small numbers.

Steps we are undertaking

We have completely removed the word “Pilates” from our timetables and documentation (both hard-copy and online). We have also changed some of our signage as well, though there is some lee-way in the reforms to still allow any substantial signage created prior to the changes. .

Our classes will now be called: EITHER – Clinical Matwork class OR Clinical Reformer Class OR Clinical Strength Class.

pilates

Feedback

Already there are issues with the new system. Just recently, the health minister Greg Hunt announced that a complete review will be necessary moving forwards.

This is without even getting into the debate of the recent election………

Please note – You will need to check with your individual health insurance company for your specific coverage. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to phone our friendly reception staff on 6262446.

About Jim Fuller

Jim graduated from the University of Sydney with a Masters of Physiotherapy after completing his Bachelor of Health Science. He has special interests in sports injuries particularly of the lower limb, soccer injuries and pilates. He also pays particular focus to prevention of future injuries. Jim enjoys all outdoor activities with his family and friends as they are often out camping, cycling, hiking and sailing.