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Temporal trends in exercise physiology services in Australia—Implications for rural and remote service provision
journal contributionposted on 14.01.2020, 00:00 by Robert Stanton, S Rosenbaum
Objective: To assess temporal trends in service provision by Accredited Exercise Physiologists based on remoteness classification using Australian Bureau of Statistics remoteness classifications of Major Cities, Inner Regional, Outer Regional, Remote and Very Remote. Design and participants: Cross-sectional analysis of publicly available Medicare Benefits Schedule datasets, for Medicare item number 10953 from 2012-2013 to 2016-2017. Main outcome measure(s): Number of claims, benefits paid, fees charges and number of providers for Medicare item number 10953. Results: Accredited Exercise Physiologist service delivery demonstrates growth across all areas of remoteness classification. Rebates and fees mirror service delivery trends. The rate of service growth was significantly greater in Major Cities compared with all other remoteness classifications. Provider numbers show a steady increase from 2012-2013 to 2016-2017 but number remains higher in Major Cities compared with all other remoteness locations. Conclusion: Given the high proportion of chronic and complex illness in rural and remote areas, and the limited access to allied health care services, we propose more needs to be done to position Accredited Exercise Physiologists in these regions of increasing need. These findings have implications for future development of the Accredited Exercise Physiologist profession. © 2019 National Rural Health Alliance Ltd.