Policy reform for lower back pain suffers

The NSW State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) and the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation have endorsed a new model for low back pain management.

The Summary Model of care for low back pain has adopted the term ‘physical therapies’, focusing on best-practice recommendations with the aim of enhancing health, quality of life, and social outcomes for people grappling with low back pain.

ESSA Policy & Advocacy Manager Judy Powell hailed the decision as a major policy win.

“This is a significant victory for people with low back pain, increasing choice for consumers and access to care from a broader range of allied health professionals,” said Ms Powell.

“The endorsement is expected to streamline healthcare delivery, enabling more referrals and ensuring timely access to the right care, from allied health professionals that deliver physical therapies such as Accredited Exercise Physiologists, osteopaths and chiropractors.

“A weight has been lifted for low back suffers who will now receive value-based healthcare through the early assessment, management, review, and appropriate referral of people with back injuries in the NSW personal injury schemes.

“It will also encourage self-management, allow people to return to work and usual activity and empower people in their recovery journey.”

Collaboratively with Osteopathy Australia, Chiropractic Australia and other stakeholders, ESSA relied on strong scientific evidence to advocate for the term ‘physical therapies’ over only ‘physiotherapy’ to expand access.

“By developing and implementing the Summary Model in the NSW personal injury schemes, people experiencing low back pain will have more timely independent assessment to assist in better health and recovery outcomes,” said Antony Nicholas, Chief Executive of Osteopathy Australia.

“People with low back pain will now have greater access to services that accelerate their injury recovery journey, and reduce time spent in health care schemes.”




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