ACC Community Services Card Pilot

Following long-standing advocacy from across PNZ, we're very pleased to see that ACC is starting a pilot to improve access to physiotherapy for community services card holders.

Rolling out fully-funded or heavily subsidised physiotherapy treatment for community services cardholders is something that PNZ members have advocated for over a number of years, as we know cost is one of the biggest barriers to treatment and will contribute to improving equity in Aotearoa.

See the full message from ACC below and thank you for supporting our united voice.

ACC is pleased to give Physiotherapy New Zealand members early notice of a pilot in Ōtara and Māngere to improve access to physiotherapy treatment. We are currently working with our contracted Suppliers to implement the pilot which will fully fund or heavily subsidise physio treatment for clients who hold a community services card in these areas. The aim of the pilot is to identify whether removing or reducing the co-payment barrier for clients improves equity of access to physiotherapy services. It will also give us the chance to review other barriers to treatment to help guide future service delivery. ACC hopes the pilot will also foster stronger relationships between primary care and physio’s by encouraging GPs and DHB’s to refer eligible clients into the pilot to receive physio treatment.

The pilot will run from 20 June 2022 for up to 18 months with the ability to extend for a further year depending on participation numbers. The hope is that enough injured people will participate over this time, to help ACC understand whether subsidising treatment creates significant benefits for clients by reducing the cost barrier. We will also be looking at treatment outcomes in comparison to other groups of clients to understand whether there are any differences.

ACC has selected Ōtara and Māngere because historically there are significant socio-economic barriers to accessing ACC services within these areas. There is also a high population of Māori and Pacific clients, and from claim data we know that Māori only access allied health services at a rate of approximately 50% of the non-Māori population, indicating that there are barriers which need to be addressed.

ACC hopes that the pilot will provide learnings which could be applied to a wider rollout in the future.

Page updated June 2022