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ACC treatment costs to be reduced

ACC treatment costs to be reduced

People who are injured will pay less for some treatment and rehabilitation services following last week’s Budget, says ACC Minister Ruth Dyson.

Announcing the Budget details today, Ms Dyson said the Government’s aim was to ensure injured people received the best treatment and rehabilitation available, as well as to minimise the cost.

“This year’s ACC Budget package is a good step in that direction.”

“Currently, for example, physiotherapists charge anything up to $35 for a treatment session. Our aim is that, from 1 April next year, a person receiving physio treatment from an ACC-endorsed physiotherapist will not incur any charges.”

An extra $35.5 million over four years has been allocated for initiatives to reduce treatment costs for injury and ensure high quality services.

Of that extra funding…

$4.4 million will be used to encourage the use of a range of new, more effective treatment materials used in primary practice by increasing payments for these items. $3.5 million is being allocated to encourage the use of nurses in primary settings and reduce co-payments for nurse consultations. $8.5 million will go to increase payments for counsellors to match other government funders. $3.9 million is for increasing payments to rural nurses and GPs. This is targeted at specific rural areas most at risk because of distance from other emergency care services, and is related to the complexity of a consultation. $12.3 million is for setting up a physiotherapists “endorsed provider network”, aimed at improving the quality of care provided by physiotherapists and eliminating co-payments. $2.9 million is for increasing payments for non-specialist dental treatment for under 18s to match Health funding policy.

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