Price fixing physios

August 4th, 2010 at 6:48 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists is under fire from the over claims of anti-competitive behaviour.

The industry body has been warned by the competition regulator after it sent a letter to one of its members accusing it of undercutting other physiotherapists by not introducing patient part-charges.

How stupid (or venal) are they? That is clearly illegal.  The Commission should take action to make it quite clear that such actions are not allowed.

Physiomed, which has clinics in Wellington, Christchurch, Oamaru and Dunedin, decided not to charge a co-payment and absorb the cost itself.

The decision prompted a rush of complaints from members to the society.

The society responded by writing a letter to Physiomed last year expressing its “disappointment” at the decision. …

Yes how dare they show that you can remain profitable on the ACC payment, without a part-charge.

“The profession as a whole will suffer if we do not value the services we offer and charge accordingly,” the letter says.

“We should not be trying to undercut other physiotherapy practices by aggressively advertising our fee structure or ‘free physiotherapy’.”

That is exactly what physios should be doing – competing on price, on quality and in what ever other way they want to.

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5 Responses to “Price fixing physios”

  1. trout (865 comments) says:

    The whole Physio industry was spawned by ACC. Before ACC there were Physios in hospitals and a few in private practice. After ACC Physios sprang up everywhere – and did very well. It is no ‘accident’ that the paid-for course of Physio treatment for an injury takes about the same time as the injury would take to heal itself. Probably 75% of physio treatment is unnecessary or ineffective but the availability of easy funding has encouraged the industry to create a demand. A physio treating each member of a whole secondary school rugby team after each practice, or oldies using the local phsyio as a drop-in-centre where they can get their arthritic joints eased are just a couple of the rorts. At least this industry, that has inflated itself on the back of subsidies, is struggling to justify its existence.

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  2. Captain Neurotic (206 comments) says:

    Best quote from “the big bang theory’ – Seldon says to Penny “If you hear any talk of unions let me know, you have to crush em’ really quickly!”

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  3. Chris2 (706 comments) says:

    Trout is absolutely right. I broke my ankle a few years ago, first ever hospital stay in 50 years. Once out of plaster I went to physio 2-3 times week for about six weeks. Apart from the surgery, the physio is what got me fixed up and walking again.

    But during my regular visits to the Physio I was gobsmacked at how many people would come in. They would get a massage and then the physio would bring them into the gym area and tell them to do a particular exercise for 20-30 minutes.

    However, as soon as the Physio left the room many of the clients would be up and dressed, and away. It was a complete scam and I figure they were simply after an ACC-funded massage. Of course the Physio’s new it was a rort but they were profiting too.

    I glad there is a tightening up of eligibility.

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  4. Spider_Pig (62 comments) says:

    A good friend of mine is a physio and he decided against charging a part charge for a short period. He received comments from other physios that it wasn’t good for him to do that. Didn’t go as far as the society sending him a letter though…

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  5. Mike Readman (353 comments) says:

    So, the Commerce Commission says being competitivie is anti-competitive? FTW.

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