Osteopaths are eligible to provide worker’s compensation injury management services in each Australian state and territory. If you have an active claim, you can consult an osteopath for treatment of a musculoskeletal injury (a condition to your bones, muscles, joints, tendons, or nerves) that has occurred in the workplace and receive rebates for this treatment if approved by your case manager.
Referral requirements differ between each state and territory but generally you will need a GP referral before seeing an osteopath for treatment of a workplace injury. If required, this GP referral will need to be provided to your case manager to receive a rebate for your osteopathic sessions.
When attending your first consultation, ensure that you bring your claim number, GP referral (if applicable), and the contact details of your case manager and any other reports about your injury. This will help your osteopath establish the approval status of your claim before commencing treatment and help identify how to best help manage your workplace injury. Depending on the severity of your injury and your recovery goals, you may receive approval for a certain number of sessions with an osteopath. If you require additional sessions, your osteopath will need to seek further approval by completing the scheme’s provided approval forms.
In some states and territories, a set fee schedule is provided, and your company’s insurer will cover the full cost of your appointment. In other cases, an osteopath will be able to charge a ‘gap fee’ above the schedule of fees to be paid by the client. You should confirm rules around fees with your case manager before your first consultation. If the osteopath intends to charge a gap fee, this should be communicated to you before your initial appointment.
If your claim has not been approved or is still pending and you chose to proceed with a consultation, you will be responsible for the full cost of the consultation. You can then take the receipt to seek reimbursement, but this is not guaranteed.
Your osteopath will communicate about your progress with your GP and case manager to ensure you recover well and can return to work.