How to register with Healthcode
In June of 2023, I posted a blog recommending members register with AXA. Registering with AXA is done via Healthcode. Healthcode Private Practice Register (PPR) provides a service for insurance companies. It is through the Healthcode PPR that you can raise invoices and be reimbursed.
Since the June 2023 post, several members have been in touch. The good news: since registering these members have received referrals, and this is helping them build their practices. Some members found the process of registering with Healthcode a bit tricky, as there are one or two questions that can be confusing. I’ve been in touch with Healthcode, who took me through the entire process.
I have recorded a presentation that covers the process of registering with Healthcode step-by-step.
The slides of the presentation are here.
Heather Gaunt, one of the members who responded to the June post, has written an article about things to consider when registering and the process of being reimbursed by AXA. You can read it here.
A BAcC member benefit
Importantly, registering with Healthcode means that you are on the insurance companies register and can get referrals. There are currently three insurance companies using Healthcode PPR: AXA, Vitality and Aviva. The BAcC is the only professional body for traditional acupuncturists recognised by AXA and Vitality.
Aviva requires a GP referral. General Medical Council guidelines on referral state: doctors “must be satisfied that systems are in place to assure the safety and quality of care provided – for example, … the practitioner is on a register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority”. So, Aviva policy holders will normally need to see a BAcC member or statutory regulated professional to have acupuncture.
Professional Recognition Working Group (PRWG) and private health insurance.
The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) is well recognised within the private health insurance industry. However, perhaps because of the multitude of different companies and policies, problems can still arise. Someone may have insurance through a company scheme which can be different to the policy offered to members of the public. Some health insurance companies have Cash Plan schemes. Cash plan schemes tend to be more flexible in terms of who the policy holder (the patient) can receive acupuncture from, whereas patients with a health insurance policy may be restricted. Nevertheless, the BAcC still works to ensure we are recognised by companies with Cash Plans: for example, Simplyhealth.
One of the objectives of the Professional Recognition Working Group (PRWG) in 2023 was to enhance recognition of the British Acupuncture Council within the insurance industry, to ensure a more consistent approach. We have been working with the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) to enhance understanding within the industry. The PSA has met with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to highlight the benefits of recognising Accredited Register. They conducted a survey with ABI members at the end of last year. The feedback that we have had from the PSA on these discussions has been positive. With the strains on the NHS, private health insurance may play greater role in UK healthcare in the future. We will continue to promote the BAcC within the insurance industry as the leading professional organisation for acupuncturists.
Ian Appleyard, Research & Policy Manager