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Osteopathy Service Descriptors

The Osteopathic Service Descriptors have been developed as a rational basis for costing services. Decision on pricing services are the responsibility of the individual Osteopath or clinic.

An osteopathic service intervention may be described in a number ways and in terms of developing a consistent approach to costing services the following attributes may be used as the rationale for preparing costings and a basis for negotiating with third party funders for enhanced reimbursement rates for more complex osteopathic interventions:

  1. Type of activity / scope of practice - clinical treatment, group exercise class, manual handling training
  2. Service Location – clinic, patient's home / place of work. A means of costing in travel time.
  3. Service delivery time – length of time spent on activity
  4. Timing – within 'normal' clinic hours or out of hours, weekends public holidays
  5. Clinical complexity – patient presentations may be more or less complex
  6. Advanced clinical skills – an osteopath may have advanced standing in a sub-domain of practice such as rehabilitation, gerontology or sports injuries.

Clinical complexity and clinical focus present conceptual difficulties and individual funders will have their own approaches. The Capabilities for Osteopathic Practice is a useful document when considering the activities and processes that are within the osteopathic scope of practice.