Life is not always kind, and sometimes injuries happen either from car accidents or in your profession, that can stop you from working or going about your normal activities. But did you know that treatments performed by AHPRA registered acupuncturists are eligible for rebates for Transport Accident Commission (TAC) & Work Cover in Victoria? At Central Highlands Pain & Wellbeing we have provider numbers for each of these facilities so your Work Cover or TAC approved accidents are at least partially covered, so your acupuncture treatments can be claimed as part of your compensation. This article discusses what the process is for incorporating acupuncture into your rehab and recovery treatment through either Work Cover or TAC in Victoria. If it’s relevant to you, a friend or family member, please read on.
What do you need to do?
For each type of insurance, there are different procedures and protocols that are required to allow you to make a successful claim, and different rules & governance surrounding who pays for what, and how everything is paid out.
Some practitioners will claim directly from the insurance provider, however due to not having a dedicated administration team at this clinic, we generally ask patients to pay for the session at the time of service, then claim their own rebate. We immediately provide receipts with all necessary documentation, applications and reports where requested. We ask that most patients claim their gap or payment directly from the associated funding body. If you are experiencing particular financial difficulty though, please discuss your situation with us as we may be able to assist in some way. The different rules and procedures for each type of compensation are detailed below.
For Transport Accident Commission (TAC) patients:
In the first 90 days following a TAC claim being made, all medical and adjunct therapies are automatically approved. Following the first 90 days your practitioner needs to apply for a certain number of treatments for you to be covered for the partial TAC payment amount, which works out to around half the normal cost of a treatment. Please ensure you check with your case manager that acupuncture is approved before commencing treatment. You do not need a doctor’s referral to recieve acupuncture and have it covered through the TAC, however your acupuncturist needs to apply for a number of sessions, and communicate with both yourself and your case manager. If you would like to discuss your case as it relates to acupuncture, please give us a call on 0422 353 446 to have a chat.
For Work Cover (Work Safe Victoria) patients:
For injuries sustained at work, your employer is liable to pay the first $763 for the cost of treatments from any health provider. Following this, your employer’s nominated Work Safe insurance company takes over making partial payments toward your acupuncture treatments. The difference between Work Safe insurance and TAC insurance is that for the purposes of Work Safe injuries, it is necessary to obtain recommendation and referral from your managing GP before approval through insurance is possible. This is not usually difficult and most GP’s will provide a referral if one is requested, and if they think that the type of treatment we offer is going to be useful in helping to accellerate recovery time.
In both cases, your allied health practitioner may need to fill in some paperwork giving a measurement scale for your particular injury at the commencement of treatment, then get you to fill in the same measurement scale at the end of the course of treatment to show that it’s working. Examples of these scales include patient perception questionnaires like the Oswestry Pain Scale standardised measurement tool, or the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A), or sometimes multiple measurement tools depending on your individual circumstances.
You will also, in both cases be issued with a claim number that is included on all your receipts along with the practitioner’s TAC or Work Safe provider number.
Depending on the type of injury, Acupuncture is an acceptable post injury therapy for pain relief and anxiety and has a large body of supporting high quality scientific research for this purpose. If your injuries have not yet been covered in modern acupuncture research, please discuss them with your GP and your acupuncturist as well, so that we can work together, with you, your employer, and your other therapists as an integrative team toward our common goal – your quickest and most sustainable recovery to return to normal activities.
You can book an appointment online or give us a call on 0422 353 446 to discuss it before you decide to book.