Information for Health Professionals

 

AEPs WORKING IN HEALTH CARE

Information for Medical and Health Care Professionals

Current evidence supports physical activity and exercise as an integral treatment for both primary and secondary prevention and the treatment of chronic disease. The allied health profession, accredited exercise physiologists (AEPs) play an important, irreplaceable role as physical activity and exercise specialists within healthcare. Many AEPs work within multidisciplinary teams, onsite at a general practice; whilst others provide local services for patients referred by specialists, healthcare professionals and hospital-based services or programs.

An AEP can be an integral part of a general practice setting. Some work as part of the healthcare team, onsite at the practice, whilst others support the general practitioner and practice nurse, by providing local services for:

  • patients at high-risk of developing or currently with chronic disease;
  • patients at risk of developing, or currently with existing injury, that require rehabilitation to improve physical function; and
  • patients in need of lifestyle change through risk factor modification, at all levels of readiness to behavioural change.

Accredited exercise physiologists provide services for patients in a variety of settings:

  • Screening and risk stratifying to ensure the safety and appropriateness of exercise and physical activity interventions;
  • Assessing ‘movement’ capacity in people of all ages and levels of health, well-being or fitness;
  • Development of safe, effective individualised exercise interventions;
  • Provision of health education, advice and support to enhance health and well-being;
  • Provision of physical activity advice and clinical exercise prescription, for those at high-risk of developing, or with existing chronic health conditions;
  • Provision of rehabilitation and advice for patients following the acute stage of injury, surgical intervention, or during recovery to restore functional capacity and well-being; and
  • The above tasks may occur at any level of primary, secondary or tertiary health care, and may include employment or volunteer work at an individual, community or population health level through various employers or industries.

 

Initiatives that Support General Practitioners in Referring to AEPs

  • Medicare Australia (ACTIVATE Health Bulk Bills all Medicare referred services)
    Under the Chronic Disease Management Program, Medicare rebates are available for patients with chronic and complex care needs on referral from their GP.
    Additional rebates for patients diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes under the Type 2 Diabetes Group Services Initiative (1 Private Consultation and 8 Group sessions) and for patients identifying as Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander are also accessible.
    Referral Form 10950     Add link Fact sheet: Medicare Referrals to an AEP
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs
    Entitled Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) clients may be referred to an AEP for clinically necessary Exercise Physiology treatment by their General Practitioner on a valid D904 referral form.
  • Rehabilitation Services
    AEPs provide functional exercise for the purpose of returning an injured worker to suitable work activities; through tailored exercise prescription suitable to the worker’s injury or work demands, and/or specific work activities such as increasing movement capacity.