ACC Specific Info
ACC has made significant changes in relation to your access to physiotherapy services. ACC now only covers part of the treatment costs. Patients are now required to make a co-payment. Copayment amounts will vary depending on the physiotherapy clinic and the contract they may have with ACC.
ACC Claims (ACC45)
An ACC claim (via an ACC45 form) may be lodged through your GP or when you see a health provider, such as a physiotherapist. To qualify for ACC, you need to have had an accident, occurring at a specific time and this should involve an external force. For example: tripped on curb & twisted your ankle or playing rugby, was tackled heavily & injured your shoulder.
If you are uncertain whether you can claim ACC, speak to your physiotherapist / GP / health provider about how the injury occurred.
If your claim is accepted, you will be allocated a certain number of treatments depending on type, area & severity of injury. These generally range between 8 and 16 treatments. For example: An ankle sprain allows you 14 physiotherapy treatments. If you reach maximum allocation & you still require further physiotherapy an ACC32 (see below) will need to be filled in by our physiotherapists on your behalf.
Please be aware that it is ACC who accept or decline your claim (based on the ACC Act / Law). ACC will mostly decline your claim if they deem it to be a gradual process injury (where the pain has come on gradually over days, weeks or months) or if “they” deem you haven’t had a specific accident / incident.
An ACC32 attempts to outline reasons (to ACC) as to why you have not had a full recovery within the allocated number of treatments. This process can take 1-4 weeks for ACC to make a decision.
During this time, you may continue to have physiotherapy, although you may have to pay for this whilst ACC make their decision. i.e. your co-payment plus the ACC contribution to your treatment / rehabilitation.
If the application for more treatment is accepted, ACC will generally only allocate a further 6 treatments.
If your ACC32 application is declined, you will no longer be covered by ACC for that injury. You are still entitled to attend physiotherapy as a private paying patient.
You are well within your rights to request ACC to review this decision or ask for a formal review. Your physiotherapist can provider further information in the event of this occuring.
Disclaimer: This information is a guide only and should not be taken as legal advice. If you require further information, contact a legal advisor or ACC directly at 0800 689 001
Physiotherapy in NZ
We have heard many physiotherapists bemoan the difficulty of finding a complete picture of physiotherapy in NZ – from new graduates wanting to know what organisations do what, to the vagaries of registering if you are an overseas physiotherapist seeking to register in NZ.
One place to look is here “How to become a Registered Physiotherapist” and the site Physiopedia provides an excellent review of the Profession in NZ