The Good News
In a recent message from the Australian Physiotherapy Association, we have been informed that we (Physiotherapists) will still be able to offer our patients Pilates Informed rehabilitation and exercise that IS STILL COVERED by Private Health Insurance, because (as the Government agreed) “Physio is still Physio” – meaning that whether your Physio decides that the best treatment for you are exercises from the Pilates repertoire, exercise in a pool, in a gym, or a walking program, this is still within the evidence-based scope of practice of your physio. You can still receive Pilates-centric exercise intervention run by a qualified physiotherapist, and use your Private Health to rebate this, legally.
However, to ensure that the public are not confused by the difference between evidence-based care and lower value interventions that have no scientific backing, we are no longer able to use the name Pilates when we refer to therapeutic exercise classes.
This may be a little confusing for current and future clients who wish to “do Pilates” for their back pain. Rest assured that we will still be offering high quality, physio supervised exercise treatments, we just won’t be calling it “Pilates” anymore. In reviewing our exercise and rehabilitation services recently, we came to the same conclusion that simply calling these services “clinical Pilates” does not reflect the true value or quality of care we provide. We have referred to these services as Clinical Pilates for many years mostly because it is easy for our patients to understand and for branding. However, we believe that the clinical exercise and rehabilitation services we offer stands well above “simply Pilates” and as such we have decided to now refer to these services as Clinical Exercise and Rehabilitation.
What it DOESN’T mean
It does not mean that Physios can’t teach Pilates or are not allowed to teach Pilates.
We can still run Pilates classes, and call it the same thing, but you wouldn’t be able to claim it on your Private Health Insurance. As many of you know, we also run both reformer-based Pilates (what we call “studio Pilates”) and mat-based pilates sessions with some fantastic Pilates instructors. These cannot be claimed on health insurance (and they never have been) but they are still a fantastic exercise and rehab option.
However, as we feel our patients deserve to use their health insurance for such a fantastic treatment as targeted exercise, we will continue to provide the same high quality, Physiotherapist-led exercise and rehabilitation services under the banner Clinical Exercise and Rehabilitation.
These health insurance changes all take effect as of April 1st, 2019. However, HBF has announced publicly to their members that they will be implementing all the changes from January 1st. We will be sure to keep all our clients up to date with any further changes or updates, but rest assured you are still able to continue claiming for our exercise and rehab services with your physiotherapist as you have been before.
Julian is a Director and manager at South Perth Physiotherapy. He has spent over 13 years working exclusively in private physiotherapy practice, and estimates he has performed close to 40,000 individual treatments in that time. He has worked with everyone from Paralympians, elite athletes, WAFL Footballers, the Defence Forces and weekend warriors, to thousands of everyday people with all manner of issues. He is passionate about injury prevention and has a special interest in the treatment of headaches, shoulder issues, hypermobility management and exercise rehabilitation for the prevention and treatment of injuries.