Every week Australians visit one of the 12,000 physiotherapists around the country. It’s one of the most commonly used therapies for Australians. But what exactly is physiotherapy? And is it covered by Medicare? Let’s find out more.
What does a Physio do?
A Physiotherapy session involves our Physiotherapist taking you through a thorough professional physical assessment followed by a diagnosis of your specific problem. Physiotherapists help you understand what causes the problems and related injuries as part of our educational approach to integrating the treatment with your lifestyle. This is then followed by a variety of treatment techniques and exercises to assist your return to mobility and full function.
The average physiotherapy session varies from 30 minutes to 1 hour, with most patients receiving a structured series of exercise and stretches to do at home to complement their treatment in our physiotherapy clinic. All our treatments are one-on-one in private treatment rooms – we never see more than one patient at a time. You do not need a Doctor’s referral to see our Physiotherapists and health funds will pay a rebate for part of the cost of your physio consultation.
How does physiotherapy help?
Our Physiotherapists use the latest hands-on techniques such as joint mobilisation, soft tissue techniques and dry needling to assist in pain management and injury recovery. We also focus on personalised exercise programs involving biomechanical analysis, specific muscle activation, strengthening and conditioning exercises, flexibility stretching, balance and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, postural correction, and core stability training to assist in the restoration of the physical function, injury rehabilitation and performance of the body.
Physiotherapists are experts in the prevention of all kinds of injury, particularly sports and work related injuries. We work with sports clubs, health club practitioners and in the work place, providing advice around training techniques in injury prevention. Our physiotherapists will discuss any important lifestyle factors such as training programs, sporting goals, ergonomic workstation setups and postural correction to help prevent problems from recurring or better still, from happening in the first place. In many cases there is more than one cause of your pain, especially if it is a chronic or recurring problem.
Is it for me?
Whether you have injured yourself while working out in the health club, doing normal activities at home, at work or on the sporting field, our Physiotherapists will help you recover in a speedy, complicated-free treatment to get you back to your normal activities. Physiotherapists focus on the assessment, maintenance and restoration of the physical function and performance of the body and minimise your chance of re-injury. Getting you back to your fitness regime quickly is what Physiotherapists aim for.
If you have sustained a significant injury, our Physiotherapists will assess the extent of the injury and if necessary refer you onto a specialist.
Many people come to see our Physiotherapists for assessment, advice and instruction on improvement of their posture, muscle imbalances and strengthening.
Our Physiotherapists treat a very wide range of injuries and conditions including:
- Sports Training
- Running and Fitness Injuries
- Back and Neck Pain
- Disc Bulges and Sciatica
- Migraines and Whiplash
- Shoulder Pain
- Rotator Cuff Injuries and Dislocations
- Knee Ligament strains
- Meniscal cartilage tears and Patello-femoral pain
- Ankle Sprains
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Foot strains/pain
- Heel pain – Plantar fasciitis
- Biomechanical Foot Problems and Shin Splints
- Muscle strains
- Imbalances and Muscle re-education
- Recovery from Fractures
- Orthopaedic and Re-constructive Surgery
- Joint Replacements (Shoulder, Elbow, Hand, Hip, Knee, Ankle)
- Osteoarthritis (Rheumatoid, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Psoriatic, SLE, Polymyalgia Rheumatica)
- Hip pain and Sacro-iliac dysfunctions
Women’s Health Conditions: pre and post natal
- Lumbopelvic pain
- Women’s Health Conditions: pelvic floor rehabilitation for urinary incontinence, bladder urgency and prolapse
Adolescent joint and tendon conditions
- Patella tendonitis
- Server’s Disease
- Osgood-Schlatters Disease
Paediatric Orthopaedic conditions
- Tallepes Equinovarus
Upper limp work-related problems
- Repetitive strain
- Overuse syndromes
What should you expect from your initial consultation?
At your initial visit your physiotherapist will perform a thorough physical assessment enabling them to diagnose your condition. Once your condition has been clinically diagnosed your physiotherapist will establish a Recommended Action Plan for treatment and explain it to you. Specific treatment will commence to help solve your problem. This process is likely to take between 45-60 minutes.
Do I need a Doctor’s referral to make an appointment?
A Doctor’s referral is welcome but not necessary if you are attending one of our clinics as a private patient. You do however require a referral from your Doctor if your problem is related to a workplace injury, motor vehicle accident, or if you are a Veterans’ Affairs patient.
Do I receive a rebate for physiotherapy treatment from my Private Health Insurance Fund?
If you are in a Private health Insurance Fund and are covered for Ancillary Cover or “extras’’ then you will be eligible to receive a rebate. Currently there is only limited funding for treatment of chronic conditions via Medicare.
If I am covered by my Private Health Insurance Fund how do I claim for my treatment?
At our clinics we use an electronic payments and claiming system called HICAP’s. This system allows you to automatically claim your rebate from your Health Fund immediately following your treatment. All you need is to present your Health Fund Card to one of our receptionists who instantly process your claim. Once this is completed all you are required to do is pay the ‘gap amount’ (the difference between the treatment fee and the rebate you received from the Health Fund). This can be paid with cash, cheque, credit card or EFTPOS.
Is physiotherapy covered by Medicare?
There are some provisions for limited physiotherapy costs to be covered under Medicare. To qualify for this you must be suffering from a condition that has been present, or is likely to be present for at least 6 months and your GP must be currently using a personally managed EPC (Enhanced Primary Care) multidisciplinary plan. If you meet these two criteria then this may enable you to receive up to 5 Medicare funded treatments per calender year for Allied Health Services, including physiotherapy. To find out all necessary details ask your GP or contact us for more information. An EPC referral must be completed by your GP.
At focus on physio you pay the full consultation fee on the day of treatment, including the gap payment. On the day of your Initial consultation day, you bring your Medicare card and an EFT (savings/cheque) card. We are then able to process the re-imbursement of the Medicare rebate directly into your nominated bank account without the need for you to go to Medicare to claim. The Medicare rebate is credited into your account overnight.