Osteopaths are eligible to provide workplace injury management services in each Australian state and territory. This means you can consult an osteopath if you have been injured in a workplace, have a neurological or musculoskeletal injury (that is, an injury to your bones, muscles, joints, tendons or nerves), and are approved to receive a rebate for your treatment by your claim case manager.
In general, you will need a referral from a GP to see an osteopath for a workplace injury. In approving consultations with an osteopath, your claim case manager may ask if you have been referred by a GP.
Depending on the severity of your workplace injury and your return-to-work goals, your case manager may grant approval for a certain number of clinical sessions with an osteopath. If you still have work-related limitations once an approved number of sessions are used, the osteopath will generally need to seek further approval for more sessions from your case manager. Some jurisdictions have special forms that need to be completed by an osteopath in seeking approval to treat you. Ask your injury case manager for any special forms that need to be completed by an osteopath in your claim approval process.
When you first attend an osteopathic clinic, bring your claim number, your GP referral, the contact details of your case manager and any reports about your injury. This will help the osteopath to establish your approval status and identify how best to help you manage your workplace injury.
In some regions, a schedule of fees caps the maximum amount an osteopath will be paid for workplace injury management services. If this applies to you, your case manager will only pay an osteopath up to the amount specified in the schedule. In some cases, osteopaths can charge a ‘gap payment’ over the schedule of fees, which has to be paid by a client. If you are approved to access an osteopath, ask your case manager for fee rules and ask your osteopath if they intend to charge a gap fee before you proceed with treatment.
An osteopath can give information about your progress to the case manager and others involved in helping you return to work.
If you are not approved or have approval pending to receive workplace injury management services from an osteopath and proceed irrespective, you may be responsible for paying all practitioner services. The osteopath will give you invoices with which you can seek reimbursement, but any reimbursement will be at the discretion of the relevant scheme and your case manager.