In this blog i want to talk about a health insurance issue relating to physio… and other allied Health professions.

Over some years now I have seen a major change in the way physiotherapy is practiced in private clinics.

Thankfully, there is far more emphasis these days in recovering lost movement to treat pain instead of using passive pain relieving modalities. Our profession has improved its skills greatly to provide a far better service to the community.

Evidence in our profession has driven a surge of energy towards treating people by helping them move better. It is abundantly clear to most physios that if we, as humans, can move better. then we will likely feel better.

However, improving movement in people takes a great deal of time and energy…. both from the physio and the patient. Often, changes in poor movement patterns (that had led to the onset of pain) take at least 6 weeks to begin to see a sustainable change…. and longer still to achieve a lasting solution to the problem.

Physios require a high level of skill and a reasonable time period to be able to correctly analyse and appropriately treat these issues. This skill set is reached only with many years of specific training AFTER completion of the basic physio training at university.

Here-in lies the potential problem.

In private physio clinics, emphasis is on customer service and treatment. The quality of the outcome of treatment is judged by the customer.

But what if the customer doesn’t know how to judge the quality of the treatment? And what if it took twice as many treatments to get the customer better then the competition could? Would the customer know that? He or she may have had a good outcome but at what cost? Does the customer even know the skill set if the treating physio.

These are the issues the general public need to know.

With the pressure from insurance companies driving down rebatable rates…. and the emergence of insurance company driven health care clinics…. we are now seeing an erosion of the potential quality within physiotherapy and other allied health care private practices.

This is occurring because treatment times are reduced. Emphasis on in-house mentoring and on-the-job training becomes squeezed by productivity goals.

We need to be aware that what we pay for is what we get. Discount physio is exactly that. An inferior option.

How valuable is your body?

I’d like to follow this up in the next blog about how to choose a physio.