Pilates/exercise classes in 2019 //
At Good Country Physiotherapy, we constantly review our class offerings to ensure that they are meeting the needs of our patients. Over the last 15 years that we have provided pilates classes in the Limestone Coast region, the number of other exercise classes and gyms has grown substantially. Our communities now have much more choice in deciding how and where they want to exercise. We see this as a positive for health and wellbeing in our wider community.
We are continuing to look at ensuring our classes provide the latest, evidence-based exercise programs, value for money and that the class types we offer suit the needs of our participants. As we informed you earlier this year, the Australian Government will be implementing changes to items that can be claimed through private health funds from April 2019. This includes a range of natural therapies where it is claimed there is little to no scientific evidence of improved health outcomes. Our current understanding is that Pilates will continue to be covered when provided by a physiotherapist but only for small classes where the exercises are tailored to each individual’s medical complaint.
Our understanding is that this means for larger, non-individualised classes, similar to those that we currently run, no rebates will be payable by your private health fund. This continues to evolve as more information is released by the government ahead of the deadline for changes.
These changes come at a time when the evidence for the effectiveness of tailored exercise programs in the management of low back pain, osteoarthritis and other conditions is rapidly growing. We see this change in funding as just one step in a wider series of changes to come in healthcare in the years ahead. This is an exciting opportunity to reassess our current class offerings in terms of what is most effective in managing certain conditions and what you, our community, would like. We are asking you to complete this short survey to help us determine the future direction for our classes. We appreciate the support you have shown us over the years and want to make sure we are still providing the service that is expected and desired from us, while remaining compliant with private health funds and government regulations.
We are looking at three options for our classes from next year. Please indicate your preferences on our survey form, and feel free to provide any other feedback as you wish.
We continue to offer larger, non-individualised classes as we have in previous years, following the school term structure with 8 week blocks, understanding that it is likely no private health rebate will be claimable. No refunds are available for missed classes (except in exceptional circumstances).
In addition to our large classes outlined above, we offer individualised, small group classes aimed at specific conditions (eg Pilates for Low Back Pain) with a maximum of 6 participants per class. A rebate could be claimed from your private health fund for these classes. Each participant would have their own program and would be supervised by a physiotherapist. The class would include a range of exercises including mat-based Pilates and use of specific pilates and gym equipment in some locations (reformer and trap table). These classes will require an assessment appointment with a physiotherapist prior to beginning the class (used to develop your program), periodic reassessments to refine your program and will be ongoing throughout the year. As the classes are indivdualised, you will be able to start a block at any time following your assessment appointment (no term breaks), and continue attending on a regular basis. Class fee structure to be determined. Bookings will be required to ensure minimum numbers to enable classes to go ahead.
We cease our large non-individualised classes completely and move towards the smaller classes where evidence for health benefit is greater. We appreciate that there are now mulitiple places where our community can access large group exercise classes in the community and we put our focus on those high value interventions (indivdualised exercise programs) that make the biggest difference to the health of the community.
Thank you very much for your time and your feedback.
Andrea Lutt (Practice Manager) and the GCP physio team