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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you focus on assessments and not so much on therapy”?
There are three reasons for this.
  1. The assessments we provide at Rheumi Occupational Therapy are something that you won’t get anywhere else. Your average OT isn’t going to assess your hypermobility and the impact on your life in the same way as we do. We provide a thorough assessment and report full of recommendations specific to your hypermobility condition.
  2. We want as many people as possible to be able to access our big picture assessment process to help them on their way to managing their condition. The “therapy” parts can often be provided by other therapists and we can make recommendations for the types of therapies you may need in our assessment. We do often a limited number of follow up appointments if clarification is needed post-assessment, however, we do not aim to provide the ongoing therapy.
  3. A lof the education that we used to provide in follow up sessions will soon be available via our online courses, and occasional face to face workshops. This frees up Rheumi Occupational Therapists to see more people for their big picture sessions and get them on their way to living a better life with their condition.
Why do assessments cost so much?
Assessments do cost a lot of money. You’re not wrong there. However, there is reasoning as to why! Our usual hourly rate for Occupational Therapy is based on that of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS Australia), however, we have chosen to make our hourly rate $15 below that of the NDIS.

 

Assessments take time. A face to face assessment usually takes 1.5 hours, and then a report can take anywhere between 1 and 3 hours, depending on the amount of research and detail required. We have chosen to cap the report writing cost at 1hr, which is extremely generous. There are other OT’s out there charging upwards of $600 per assessment (and that’s not a therapist who has honed their skills based on the needs of two patient populations).

 

You also need to remember that as OT’s we have a 4-year University degree – in my case, I actually have 5.5 years of university training, 1000s of hours of unpaid clinical training while studying, plus 30+ hours of continuing professional development every single year. We have insurance to pay, rent and/or in my case petrol, and other business expenses. I have also self-funded 3 trips to the USA to learn more about hypermobility conditions so that I can offer the best possible service.

 

A lot of my colleagues have urged me to charge more, but I realise that money doesn’t grow on trees, especially for patients who are living with chronic health conditions and who are often on pensions or struggling to make ends meet. I have tried to keep prices as low as possible while still being able to cover costs.
Do you offer concession rates?

Yes, for each different assessment or appointment there is also a concession rate, marked with (C). A valid pension card or student card is required to access these rates.

Why should I have an assessment with Rheumi Occupational Therapy rather than another OT?
Michelle is a senior Occupational Therapist who has dedicated her career to working with people with hypermobility and arthritic conditions. She doesn’t see patients for other things like strokes, or orthopaedic rehab like other adult occupational therapists. Michelle focuses only on hypermobility and rheumatological conditions, combining university education in occupational therapy, counselling & mental health and lived experience of hypermobility and arthritis.

 

Michelle has spoken at conferences in the USA and Australia, and has educated other therapists about hypermobility. If you want a thorough assessment of your hypermobility, how it’s impacting your day to day life, and recommendations for changes that can be made, then Michelle is your OT!
Do I really need a report?
Reasons for paying for a report include:
  • Doctors request
  • Being able to take something back to a doctor or health professional which outlines all that we covered
  • If you have trouble remembering all that is covered in the appointment
  • Detailed recommendations (far more detailed that those made in the appointment e.g. what equipment to buy and from where)
  • For your own records
  • For applications for funding or for other services you are accessing
Why aren’t reports offered for online consultations?

A brief report can be arranged, however as the consultation is not carried out face to face, a number of factors cannot be assessed, including degree of hypermobility, skin aspects, muscle tone. We also cannot do a functional assessment. These are all large parts of a report. Reports covering what we have talked about in the session can be arranged and will be charged pro rata at the hourly rate of $160/hr.

Can I claim an online consultation on Medicare or my Private Health Fund?

Unfortunately, you cannot claim on Medicare or your Private Health Fund for Occupational Therapy consultations over the internet. Medicare and Health Funds require that the service be provided face-to-face to be eligible for rebates.

What happened to HypermobilOT?

HypermobilOT is now Rheumi Occupational Therapy – with some differences.

Rheumi Occupational Therapy is a service offered to adults living with connective tissue disorders and arthritic conditions. We no longer work with those under the age of 18.

You may be wondering why? Because there are a LOT more paediatric occupational therapy practices who can do similar work to what Michelle used to do. And in time, there will be more, as Michelle will be continuing to offer training to Paediatric therapists in this area. If you’re having trouble finding a paediatric OT who is hypermobility-savvy, let us know and we will see if we can help you find one!

Why are there no testimonials?
As a health professional registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency, I am bound by strict rules of practice. These include advertising and marketing. Health professionals registered with AHPRA are not allowed to use testimonials or reviews from patients as part of their advertising.

 

That’s why you won’t find any testimonials on our website or social media accounts. We get great feedback from people all the time, we’re just not allowed to show it, as it might be seen as coercive or talking you into something you don’t need. We don’t want that to happen!

 

If you have questions, please contact Michelle
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