Direct Referral for Physiotherapy

One of the bigger private medical insurers has just announced that it is to allow its corporate members to self refer to a physiotherapist for musculoskeletal conditions without the need to be referred by their GP.  We introduced this concept at Medisure six years ago and here are the reasons why.

Musculoskeletal conditions are one of the biggest causes of short term absence. They are also conditions that respond best to early diagnosis and intervention.

Historically, someone with private medical insurance would have to go through a long winded charade before they could get treated. Under the terms of their policy, they would have to book a GP appointment which could take several days. Many GPs would recommend complete rest for a week or so before taking things any further. When this didn’t work, they might then refer to a physio and the employee would have to get a claim form signed off and authorised by their insurer.

It was not unusual for the whole process to take over three weeks before effective diagnosis and treatment, by when the condition had worsened and the time off work had greatly increased as had the costs of treatment.  

Recognising that musculoskeletal problems are best diagnosed within 48 hours, we introduced self referral within guaranteed appointment times and to a recognised, clinically assessed physio network. No GP appointment, no claim form, no unnecessary absence from work. I have personal experience of just how effective it was.

If your private medical insurer is not offering you this type of service, you really need to be asking them why not.

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