Podiatry is such a vital treatment option for so many conditions, including chronic foot and leg pain, arthritis, diabetes and heel pain, and there are ways to access Medicare rebates and funding.
To be able to access things like Medicare rebate for podiatry should be really easy, but unfortunately Medicare rebates are not always that simple!
We want to be able to help you access the help that you need, as quickly as you can, and as experts who see the above types of conditions all the time, we would love to help explain the Medicare rebate process a little more.
It can be a really simple process once you understand it, so let us help you wrap your head around Medicare and how it can work for your podiatry needs.
The short answer, is YES!
The long answer is yes, but there are a few conditions.
A Medicare rebate for podiatry can be accessed under the CDM Program (formerly the EPC Program), which is the Chronic Disease Management Program.
Firstly, you must meet the criteria, and that is generally centred around 'chronic' conditions, meaning something that you have suffered with for more than 3 months.
Secondly, you need to have the appropriate referral form from your GP, who needs to send you to a specific podiatry clinic (hopefully us, we'd love to help!)
The Medicare EPC Program allows for a total of up to 5 rebated consults to any referred allied health practitioner, per year.
That could include podiatry, dietetics, physiotherapy, speech pathology, etc.
So, for instance, your GP might refer you for 3 podiatry consults, and 2 physiotherapy consults.
This number is renewed each calendar year, but you will need a new referral each year.
The current Medicare rebate (as at June 2016) is $52.95 per podiatry consult, regardless of the specific service that you choose.
That means that the rebate is $52.95 for an initial consult, and any subsequent review consults that you might be recommended for as well.
Unfortunately, we cannot bulk bill Medicare for podiatry at our practice, so there will always be a small gap payment.
Generally, this is around $30 for your initial consult (which is 40 mins of comprehensive assessment, diagnosis, planning and treatment) and around $8 for any subsequent consults.
It is a tricky little process - the joys of working with a government body!
At our practice, what you need to do is actually pay the full fee upfront yourself first, and then we can process the Medicare rebate and get it back to you on the spot.
Specifically, here are the steps:
1. You need to pay the full fee on a CREDIT or DEBIT card or by CASH
2. We use our Practice management software to submit your paid account to Medicare on your behalf to access the $52.95 rebate for you
3. Medicare will credit the $52.95 to your nominated bank account later that day or early the next day.
To wrap it all together:
If you have any questions at all regarding the EPC process - please call or email us via the Contact Us page, and we are more than happy to answer them.
Alternatively, get to your GP ASAP and ask for a referral to see a podiatrist who can help you get moving well, feeling great, pain free and back to doing what you love!