Private healthcare is now more accessible than ever; the advent of more employers and larger companies offering private health insurance to their staff is contributing to the increased numbers of people using non-NHS services. As private musculoskeletal healthcare is an ever expanding field and with more options than ever being available to patients it is useful to understand how you can access this. Lilliput Health’s Chartered Physiotherapist Rebecca Wyatt explains this in more detail with the following Q and A’s.
Q. I have a new pain/problem and I wish to book in for a physio session, do I need to see my GP first?
The answer is no, you do not need to see your GP first in order to book in for an appointment. Private services do not require you to have the permission of your GP however if you are in pain then it is appropriate to see your GP to acquire appropriate painkillers in advance of your appointment.
Q. Do you share my details with my GP?
We take your details and register you as a new client on our system and ask you to sign a consent form at your first appointment. We will only contact your GP if you consent to it or there’s a specific need for your particular condition to arrange further investigations or consultant opinions. This is always discussed with you prior.
Q. I have private health insurance, can I still book in for physiotherapy?
The answer is yes however we ask you check a few things prior to attending your first appointment. You must call your health insurance provider (e.g. BUPA or AXA) and confirm with them your intentions; different policies have different allowances for numbers of sessions. We will need your policy number and authorisation code for treatment which your provider can give you-bring this to your first session. Some insurance providers also ask that you liaise with your GP prior- check this with them before attending your first session.
Q. I have previously been for a different issue and didn’t use all of my sessions, can I use them for my new problem?
9 times out of ten the answer is no. We advise that you call and check with your private health insurance before attending your first session. The majority of the main insurance providers will use different authorisation codes for each problem or “episode of care” therefore always double check.
Q. We have a private health insurance policy through the company, is the process any different?
No, you can still access the same private physiotherapy services through the above methods. Call your policy provider and they will be able to give you the information you need in advance of your appointment.
Q. Are there other services at Lilliput Health that are covered by private health insurance?
Yes, we offer a range of musculoskeletal and complimentary health care across our clinic sites. Primarily Physiotherapy, Chiropractic and Podiatry are covered but we do always ask that you check prior to avoid disappointment. We are always more than happy to help with any specific queries so please do get in contact if you are having difficulties.
Author: Rebecca Wyatt (Chartered Physiotherapist)