What to bring to your appointment
- You are encouraged to think about & write out your questions and goals and bring them with you.
- XRays or other imaging scans you have had performed
- Letters by other practitioners about your problem, or exercises you have been prescribed
- Come appropriately dressed – shorts for problems of the legs or hips and active wear that you can comfortably move in
- Sporting footwear (ie your runners or other sporting shoes) if you have a lower limb problem
- Contact details for anyone you would like to know about your injury, such as a Coach or sporting program manager
- A support person is always welcome to join you for your appointment
What are the surveys that are sent before my appointment?
Patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) are a series of medical designed and tested questionnaires that we ask you to complete to assist in your medical assessment and management. They ask about a range of symptoms and help to elicit how a problem affects the day to day living of the patient and how the patient copes with their problem. Some of them also help to predict those patients who may have a faster or slower recovery due to other medical issues. You may complete these questionnaires throughout your treatment and recovery to assist in tracking your progress.
Why do I need a GP referral when I am referred by my Physiotherapist?
The GP is the most important Doctor in any patients care team. They are the keeper of all of the medical knowledge and opinions about an individual and the consistency of care of a good GP is an important part of well-being. A referral is an important part of transfer of this knowledge to a medical Specialist and ensures excellent two way communication about you, the patient, which directly improves your health management and likely your outcome.
Why is bulk billing limited for Sport & Exercise Physicians?
Sport & Exercise Physicians offer long appointment times and practice in a similar fashion to our Physician colleagues, such as Cardiologists or Geriatricians. We do this as we feel it offers our patients the opportunity to ask questions and to really understand their medical condition and to learn self management and rehabilitation techniques, which are often as important as any medicine prescribed or tests ordered. Complex issues are allocated up to one hour for which the charge is up to $300, with a Medicare rebate of $72.
Unfortunately the Australian Government, when it recognised Sports Medicine as a Speciality in 2010, reduced the Medicare rebate available to patients. Sports Medicine is the only speciality to ever have its rebates reduced. Sports Medicine training is primarily self-funded, so there are a lot of additional costs associated with the four year process to become a qualified specialist and then the ongoing education costs to remain current and an expert in the field. Our Physician colleagues mentioned earlier have rebates two to three times those of Sport & Exercise Physicians.
With the demonstrated health benefits for exercise and the barriers to physical activity that musculoskeletal issues often face, it is a public health catastrophe to not have better access to Sport & Exercise Medicine. If patients are concerned by their out of pocket expense, which is not unwarranted, they should appeal directly to the Federal Minister for Health, Mr Greg Hunt.
This article may assist in understanding the changes that occurred to Sports Medicine Medicare rebates in 2010: https://www.smh.com.au/business/medicare-rebate-cut-adds-insult-to-injury-20101116-17vw0.html
To facilitate equitable access for those less privileged, under special circumstances a reduction in fees maybe possible and this should be discussed directly with Lari.