Sweeping changes across the private health funds for Pilates
For those of you in private health funds, you may be starting to receive letters from your providers outlining the recent decision made around natural therapies and other ancillary health services. As of 1 April 2019, these services including Pilates will no longer be funded for rebates.
But do not despair.....
Those involved with our physiotherapy professional association (the A.P.A.) have been lobbying hard over the past months with Greg Hunt MP the Minister for Health, the health insurance ombudsman and with the fund providers themselves. They have had a minor victory, ensuring us that the health funds will continue to rebate exercise classes that are Pilates-based if prescribed and taught by a physio. Basically, as physiotherapists, we are permitted to choose Pilates-based exercise as the best course of management, among other treatment modalities, to treat particular injuries and movement dysfunctions.
However there will need to be a few changes made in clinics like ours to be ready for the 1 April changes. We are still waiting to be advised on these adaptations to the way we deliver, advertise and receipt your classes to be eligible for your rebates.
Stay tuned for this.
For those of you interested, here is the statement issued by the A.P.A. late last year:
**All parties agree that physio is physio**
The APA has won a hard fought battle ensuring Pilates-informed exercises prescribed by physiotherapists as part of an individualised program will continue to receive rebates in one-on-one, group and class settings.
The Department of Health has just released its final clarification on the Rules governing its PHI (private health insurance) reforms and agreed with our position that the use of exercises drawn from Pilates are acceptable and within the scope of physiotherapy practice.
As previously advised and in keeping with the intention of the natural therapy reforms, Pilates-only sessions will no longer be funded as of 1 April next year. The reform of natural therapies was designed to eliminate rebates for non evidence-based therapies, and not intended to impact physiotherapy.
However, the review into natural therapies conducted by the government and announced last year, did not differentiate between Pilates-informed exercises prescribed by physiotherapists as part of a treatment program and Pilates offered by fitness instructors and in other contexts.
Therefore, we have been in long and hard negotiations to ensure that all parties agree physiotherapy is physiotherapy.