Private Practice

Private Practice Interest Group:
The private practice group does not meet formally on a regular basis, only in response to certain issues. However in early 2012 we did have a social event at the beginning of the year. Discussion at this get together indicated that there was a need for support yet OTs acknowledged that they were time poor. A meeting is planned for June with the opportunity for email support in the interim.

A 3.5% increase in the WorkCover Fees for medical and allied health treatment (including OT) services was implemented this year on 1st November 2011 by WorkCover. This is less than previous years and was not raised as much as was recommended by the WA Occupational Therapy Association (formerly OT AUSTRALIA WA).

Professional Indemnity Insurance:
Guild Insurance continues to offer professional indemnity insurance to the WA Occupational Therapy Association members at a competitive rate. AON also will insure non WA Occupational Therapy Association members.

HICAPS/ e-claiming:
The limitations in the codes available for occupational therapists with HICAPS continue to be an issue. In particular, a code for an extended consultation (over 30mins), and a code for rebates on modalities (eg splints and aids to daily living) is requested.

Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Schedule of Fees:
A national working party representing all states is presenting a proposal to the Commonwealth Treasury in relation to Department of Veterans’ Affairs and OT service provision. This has been a collaborative approach which has taken much work. Thank you to Marilyn Pearce for coordinating representation of occupational therapists in WA. Great job done.

Better Access and Mental Health
Private OTs working in mental health have been on a roller coaster in terms of the Medicare Better Access and Mental Health rebates. At this stage (2012), clients who go through OTs who have the Better Access and Mental Health rebate registration can claim up to10 occasions of service per calendar year with 6 extra in extreme situations in conjunction with the GP assessment.  Ongoing support and recognition needs to be given to these OTs who are trying to give the best service to these clients.

Jean Loth
OTPPG Representative – WA  Occupational Therapy Association
March 2012