Medicare does offer some funding for allied health visits; physiotherapy being the most popular, but also other professional attendances including exercise physiology and occupational therapy. EPC offers 5 subsidised sessions for each calendar year, but requires the existence of a TCA “team care arrangement”, which can be organised by the referring doctor, including over telehealth. There are 2 criteria to utilise the scheme:
- The condition needs to be “chronic”, defined as lasting 6 months or longer, or expected to be. There are some conditions fitting this description which has been deemed by the government to not fulfill the criterion, including: obesity, hypertension and dyslipidaemia. However in combination the above constitutes “metabolic syndrome”, which is considerably more significant.
- There are 2 other health professionals in the TCA. Some patients are concurrently attending a medical specialist or another therapist; these can. For patients attending their first allied health visits, your GP can make a recommendation for another. Be aware any attendances can draw down the allocated “pool” of 5 visits.