An article in the MailOnline was brought to my attention this morning.
You may wonder why an article on pet insurance would grab my attention, but it did so because unbeknown to many private health insurance customers, exactly the same is happening with physiotherapy.
Over the last few years, customer choice over where those with health insurance can receive physiotherapy is rapidly dwindling. There are also restrictions on the number of sessions someone can have and many are often being fobbed off with only telephone advice and an emailed exercise sheet.
The Mail article quotes “Critics say much-loved pets are being treated like cars in a crash where insurance firms seek out the cheapest garage for repairs” but the same is happening for those suffering with pain or an injury. Many people with insurance now have to travel further to see an ‘approved’ physiotherapist and have a limit to the number of sessions they can have. This is sold on being a ‘quality’ issue from the health insurance company but the fact is, they don’t select ‘approved’ physio on quality at all, it is purely on who will accept the lowest rates of pay. And unfortunately, these are often the physio’s with less experience and less facilities, as such set ups are the only ones who can afford to lower their prices and still run a financially viable business.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that there needs to be some control over how much physio is covered by a policy and this certainly can’t be limitless. However, much of this is going on without the customers knowledge. Such moves are taking away patient choice, forcing patients to travel and be seen at clinics that may be inconvenient, denying patients choice to see someone that already knows their case and have no reflection of the quality of the service on offer at all, despite this being their claim.