While Medicare helps millions and millions of people on a yearly basis, there is a limit to coverage for some medical specialties such as podiatry and dentistry.
With the numerous main specialties and subspecialties, patients find it difficult to keep track of covered medical services. However, the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) displays all of the government-subsidised services.
Read on to learn how to gain Medicare coverage for podiatry.
What is Podiatry & Medicare?
First, podiatry refers to a medical specialty that deals with conditions of the feet and legs. Likewise, the terms ‘podiatrist’ or ‘podiatry physician’ are doctors in this field who conduct reset, prescription, tests, and surgeries. During their practice, the most common conditions they treat are fractures and sprains, diabetes, nail disorders, and arthritis.
A patient should seek medical attention from a podiatrist when they experience foot pain, discolored nails, skin cracks, and scaling.
On the other hand, Medicare is the public health insurance scheme in Australia. Similar to private health insurance, Medicare helps patients by lowering or eliminating medical costs. Regardless of your Medicare card type, the coverage applies to medical services like consultation, hospital treatment, and prescriptions.
Top Podiatry Clinics in Australia
In order to receive quality care, patients must find trusted a practitioner or clinic within their area.
1. My FootDr
As a leading podiatry group, My FootDr has multiple clinics in every state. In each location, the clinic offers 20 podiatry services. In addition to booking appointments online, My FootDr also carries a telehealth option. To locate the nearest clinic to you, you may visit their official website.
While My FootDr has clinics in every state, Podiatry Clinics Melbourne holds the largest group of podiatrists in Victoria. With 15 locations, they offer 12 services such as nail surgery, diabetes care, and biomechanics. Aside from physical visits, patients may opt for home and nursing home visits for convenience.
As the official consulting podiatrists for sports teams, like the Brisbane Lions, the most professional podiatrists lead the Queensland Foot Centres. Similarly, they specialise in 6 main treatment areas like orthoses, systemic diseases, and laser therapy. Patients may personally visit one of their seven locations in Queensland.
With a single location in Western Australia, they treat children, athletes, workers, people over 55 years old, and diabetics. In terms of treatment, the UWA Podiatry Clinic treats 14 of the most common foot disorders and 5 surgical services. Lastly, patients may book their appointments online and visit the clinic 9:00AM to 4:00PM on weekdays.
Is Podiatry Covered by Medicare?
Even though Medicare aims to help every patient, the uncovered medical procedures are typically optional surgeries, like cosmetics.
For most podiatry visits, the coverage greatly varies from none, partial, and full; therefore, the simple answer is, it depends. While podiatry services are usually not covered by Medicare, some patients and their respective treatments are partially or fully-covered.
Like a number of cosmetic procedures are crucial, some cases of podiatry patients are eligible for Medicare coverage and here is the criteria.
How To Get Medicare Coverage for Podiatry
Initially, a patient must suffer from a chronic or terminal condition and see a general practitioner or GP.
While a complete list of eligible conditions isn’t available, a chronic disease refers to conditions that last for more than three months. More specifically, patients with chronic conditions require lasting, continuous care and treatment. However, for podiatry, examples are diabetes, osteoarthritis, plantar fasciitis, and more.
With the visit to the general practitioner, their responsibility lands on clinical assessment and referring you to a podiatrist or other health providers for those who need multidisciplinary care. Through Medicare’s Chronic Disease Management plan (CDM) or previously recognised as the Enhanced Primary Care plan, a patient may receive rebate for podiatry consultations and a specific number of allocated visits per year.
It is important to note that CDM and private health insurance cannot be applied simultaneously.
To learn more about the estimated coverage for different specialties and procedures, please visit our Costs Finder or consult your general practitioner. And for further guidance and enquiries, feel free to send us a message.