Information for New Patients
Where is Active Health Clinic located?
Active Health Clinic is located across the road from the Blackburn train station and is situated on the first floor of a building (Suite 2/41 Railway Road, Blackburn). Unfortunately, there is no elevator access in the rooms and there is one flight of stairs up to our clinic – 2 x10 steps with a rail and a landing in between each set of 10 stairs. There is a chair on the landing of the staircase should you need to rest.
Who is Active Health Clinic?
We have a team of exercise physiologists and psychologists at our rooms that specialise in treating a range of complex chronic health conditions, predominantly fatigue and pain related conditions. Quite often, exercise is the key to management and recovery for conditions associated with pain and fatigue - however exercise needs to be done in a graded or controlled manner otherwise our patients tend to find that their symptoms become aggravated and not alleviated.
How can Active Health Clinic help?
An exercise physiologist would sit down with you during an initial consultation and go through your symptoms and history in depth. From that initial appointment, they can then start looking at what would be the most appropriate graded therapy for your individual needs. Where possible, the exercise physiologists like to see their new patients once a week for the first 4 weeks and then once a fortnight for at least 3-4 sessions after that. Reason being, they will cover quite a few different topics with you - your sleep hygiene; diet; your routine and how elements of your routine can be changed to help you better manage your fatigue/pain; as well as looking at different stresses in your life and how these stresses can be better dealt with to help you better manage your condition. The exercise physiologists see a broad range of patients – some of whom are completely bed bound to others who are now working on a full time/part time basis.
At the time of each appointment, no exercise is generally done during the consultations. Our program is designed for patients to start implementing the exercise component at home so that it becomes part of your routine and will assist in your recovery. The consultations are designed to be education based in which you will be further educated on your condition and will be taught different tools and techniques to help you better manage your fatigue/pain and your life in general. The exercise physiologist will set the exercise baseline for you and will guide you, monitor you and help you to increase your exercise levels. Exercise will only be done in the clinic if the exercise physiologist specifically advises this will be the case.
What is the cost of appointments and can a rebate be claimed?
The costs of our consultations vary depending if you have a pension or health care card. The initial consultation is 90 minutes and all subsequent consultations are 50-60 minutes. If you have private health insurance and are covered for exercise physiology, you can claim a rebate back. This rebate will differ according to the fund that you are with and the type of cover that you have. Initial consultations using private health are billed as an item 102, with all subsequent consultations billed as an item 202. Your fund will be able to tell you your exact rebate if you contact them with these codes.
In terms of Medicare, Medicare will only give you a rebate for exercise physiology if you have an Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) Referral. This referral is eligible to patients who have a chronic condition and who have been suffering their condition for a minimum of 6 months. You must also have three medical practitioners providing care for you to be eligible for this condition. Your providers could be your GP, a specialist/other health care provider and one of our exercise physiologists. If you fulfil the Medicare criteria for this referral, your GP must be the person to write it and can allocate 5 sessions for exercise physiology, meaning Medicare will provide you with a rebate of $52.95 for up to each of the 5 sessions allocated in a calendar year. A higher rebate will be received if you have hit the Medicare safety net for this calendar year. You will most likely need a longer appointment with your GP to obtain this referral as there is quite a bit of paperwork involved. Please note, a rebate cannot be claimed from both Medicare and private health insurance for the same appointment, it needs to be one or the other.
As we are very heavily booked, we generally recommend booking in for the series of appointments - a weekly appointment for the first 4 weeks and then 4 fortnightly appointments after that. These appointments can be changed or cancelled, however it allows the exercise physiologist to provide continuity of care. Generally speaking, most patients require a total of 10-15 sessions over a period of 6-12 months. This can vary however depending on the individual and their response to the treatment.
What happens if you live remotely or are too unwell to come into the clinic?
We also offer appointments on Skype for patients that live remotely or are too unwell to attend the clinic.
Have further questions or would like to make an appointment?
Should you have any further questions or would like to book in for an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact the clinic - 03 9878 5394.