This issue is of significant concern to our profession, and no doubt other allied health professions on which they have imposed a similar cap. We are deeply concerned that this policy significantly devalues the service of osteopathy, and healthcare provision, in general.
We have been in contact with AXA representatives and written to suggest they re-consider this policy. Unfortunately, their position remains. The iO has also sought legal advice on potential avenues for recourse, however, as an independent commercial organisation AXA are in position to dictate their own fee structure as they see fit.
We are now seeking a meeting with representatives with AXA to consider what we believe to be reasonable and balanced solutions to the issues, which could include one or more of geographical tier for fees and/or voluntary top up fees by patients.
Our arguments are based on current market value and evidence of the cost effectiveness of osteopathic treatment; which shows low number of average sessions required and a high level of patient satisfaction of osteopathic treatment (data taken from PROMS).
Having osteopaths available through private healthcare schemes is vital for the large number of osteopaths who are reliant on these relationships for their practice. It also vital for access to osteopathic treatment and to promote the benefits of osteopathic treatment to the public.
The relationship between the private healthcare sector and the osteopathic profession is therefore one that we need to move forward in a positive manner.
We will continue to lobby AXA on behalf of the osteopathic profession on these matters.