Injuries, illnesses and disease symptoms can be treated with passive and active forms of rehabilitation. Passive treatment options include bed rest, massage, taping, ultrasound, dry needling, manipulations and those of a similar nature. Active treatment options include exercise rehabilitation, dietary changes, counselling, the use of therapy, mobility aids and modifying techniques.
Typically as many injury, illness and disease symptoms develop into long-term issues (greater than 12 weeks), growing research supports a shift towards more active forms of treatment, as it is more effective at:
- Restoring strength
- Improving aerobic fitness
- Managing pain
- Restoring confidence
- Managing a healthy body weight
- Ensuring adequate nutrients are being consumed
- Helping those affected adjust to social, physical, mental and lifestyle changes
The Be Inspired Foundation funds the following forms of active rehabilitation with their beneficiary scholarships.
Exercise programs are to be prescribed under the guidance of an Accredited Exercise Physiologist.
Counselling sessions are to be conducted under the guidance of a Registered Psychologist.
DIET REVIEW AND PLANNING
Dietetic assessments and meal plans / workshops are to be conducted under the guidance of an Accredited Dietician.
Please note that university practicum students from the above allied health disciplines may be utilised to assist qualified and accredited health professionals to deliver services on a larger scale.
Services will progress the beneficiary towards independence so they can continue with the active rehabilitation lifelong. Where appropriate services will progress towards a small group setting of up to eight beneficiaries. This approach will maximise usage of funding, increase social interaction and help to foster long term friendships. In the final stages of treatment programmes or in remote locations where access to allied health professionals are limited, beneficiaries may potentially be engaged with and monitored via telecommunication.
Active Rehabilitation And The Current Medicare System
- Medicare rebates for active rehabilitation (allied health services) for patients with chronic medical conditions and complex care needs are limited.
- The Medicare system is not well-adapted to the management and treatment of chronic illness as it tends to compensate individuals for acute (less than 12 weeks of treatment) health episodes rather than funding the interventions required to manage long-term (chronic) conditions.
- People living in the most disadvantaged areas report much lower rates of private health insurance cover than those living in the least disadvantaged areas (28% compared with 75%), with their ‘out-of-pocket’ expenses typically being the highest of any group.
- Individuals can be set up on a Chronic Disease Management (CDM) plan co-ordinated by their General Practitioner, however this plan allows for a maximum of five rebates (of approximately $53) per calendar year. Please note service gap fees may be incurred by the patient which often cannot be met by those financially disadvantaged. As a result, patients may opt to go without treatment impacting their ability to achieve Maximal Medical Improvement (MMI) and potentially incurring a larger Permanent Impairment (PI). Living with a health condition can often affect a person’s ability to integrate with their community and workforce, causing future burdens in their life.
Models For Improved Service Delivery To High-Risk Populations
- Medicare has previously reviewed the Medicare Benefit Scheme (MBS) but due to funding constraints there is unlikely to be a major increase in access to these services for young people. There is a clear need to improve alternative options to access active rehabilitation services which promote improved health outcomes.
- While the Federal Government has now implemented the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) for chronic disease management, there remains issues with the provision of ongoing funding to sustainably support this model nationwide. The Be Inspired Foundation aims to fund services using a similar model of service delivery, to a more specific target population.
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