For those of you wondering about private health fund rebates. Craig Hitchens Therapies DOES NOT offer private health fund rebates at this time. This is subject to possible change in the future. This is a deliberate decision I have made and I will explain why.
Private health funds require that I be registered with their “Approved” professional associations before they will provide me with a provider number. I have deliberately chosen NOT to be a member of any of these for the following reasons;
1. DO NOT recognize NEShealth or the training received as a separate, stand alone modality.
2. Because they do not recognize NESHealth, they DO NOT offer professional indemnity insurance or public liability insurance for two of the main modalities that I specifically practice; NESHealth Therapy / miHealth Therapy.
3. For the number of different modalities I practice apart from NESHealth, I would have to be in 3+ separate associations paying their fees etc and of course passing this cost onto you the consumer, in order to gain a provider number.
4. The health funds are constantly “shifting the goal posts” in respects to “eligibility” which means I have to spend time and money appeasing them which means I must pass on the costs involved meaning you will pay much more in the long run for my services even with your allotted amount of rebates claimed.
5. Offer poor value for money to practitioners for the limited services they offer.
The professional association I am with, namely the International Institute of Complimentary Therapists – IICT is Australia’s largest and covers more natural therapy modalities than any other and they DO Recognize NESHealth as a separate stand alone modality and as a result offer comprehensive professional indemnity and public liability insurance for NESHealth and miHealth Therapy specifically, along with recognizing the training institutions and validity of ALL other modalities I practice. I am therefore fully insured and able to obtain professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance specifically for the modalities I practice in one place for one fee and this is what is needed to practice in this state. The IICT’s fees are far more affordable and the insurance cost is far less expensive meaning it saves me and you, my clients, money in the long run. The IICT also have no requirement for CPE to remain a member, rather this onus is placed rightly in the hands of the practitioner to maintain their knowledge and skills. It is due to this fact that private health funds will not endorse the IICT and therefore will not provide IICT members with provider numbers.
What is CPE?
Continued Practitioner Education. They, the health funds, specify that each practitioner must complete a certain amount of this to remain “eligible” and their “approved” associations actively enforce this. In reality, any practitioner that is good at their job stays up to date and knowledgeable anyway as it is in their best interests to do so. The difference is not all of this knowledge attracts “points” in fact most of the useful stuff doesn’t. To accumulate these points, you must attend “approved” seminars etc and do “approved” courses that attract “points” so you can be said to be up to date and remain “eligible” according to the health funds. This is an unwarranted added cost to practitioners and a drain on their time that achieves very little and is certainly no guarantee of better service for clients seeking their services. There is only so many ways you can hear the same information; once it is known, it is known, it doesn’t matter how many ways you repackage it! This is a rort that is designed to make money for the health funds and their “approved” CPE providers and associations in the guise of ensuring reliable services from competent practitioners. The IICT is aware of this and as such has decided not to “jump through their hoops”. This means practitioners save money, time and can pass this saving onto you, the clients. They also recognise far more modalities and training providers than ANY other association in this country. This is why the IICT are the largest and most popular association among natural and alternative therapists in this country.
Should this situation with the private health funds and the IICT change in the future, I will most certainly look at offering private health fund rebates, but until then, they are not on my agenda. I consider being:
- Properly and fully insured for the specific modalities I practice more important.
- Open and transparent about my pricing and passing on savings where I can more important.
- Offering a truly good service that has been helping people here in Dunsborough and surrounds for over 15 years with up to date, proven therapies is more important.
I am constantly updating my knowledge, as is good practice, but I simply refuse to place unwarranted CPE and other health fund associated costs onto my clients in order to offer a handful of rebates to those with cover that does so. My reputation has been forged over 15 years of providing clients with genuine honesty and care in practising therapies that work. Nothing has changed there.
I hope this has shed some clarity onto this for you all and I look forward to continuing to help you now and into the future.
Craig Hitchens – Natural Health Practitioner & Remedial Therapist