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Factsheet HSV14 - Osteopathic Services


This Factsheet describes how you can access osteopathic services for the treatment of musculo-skeletal conditions.

What are osteopathic services?

Osteopathy, also known as osteopathic medicine, involves soft tissue work, stretching and manipulation of the bones and muscles to promote mobility and restore the body’s balance. Osteopathic services treat musculoskeletal conditions such as back and neck pain, headache, joint pain, arthritis, repetitive strain injuries (RSI), vertigo, sciatica, sports injuries and tendonitis. These services must be delivered by an accredited osteopath.

Who is eligible?

If you have a Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) Health Card - All Conditions (Gold) or Totally & Permanently Incapacitated (Gold), DVA will pay for osteopathic services, available through DVA arrangements, to meet your clinical needs. For information about the Gold Card, please see Factsheets HSV59 - Eligibility for the DVA Health Card - All Conditions (Gold) or Totally & Permanently Incapacitated (Gold) and HSV60 - Using the DVA Health Card - All Conditions (Gold) or Totally & Permanently Incapacitated (Gold).

If you have a DVA Health Card - Specific Conditions (White), DVA will pay for osteopathic services if they are required for an accepted war or service caused injury or disease, provided under DVA arrangements. For more information about the White Card, please see Factsheet HSV61 - DVA Health Card - Specific Conditions (White).

If you are an allied veteran, you are eligible for treatment of war caused disabilities accepted by your country of enlistment. Please see Factsheet HSV62 - Commonwealth and Other Allied Veterans for information about the services available.

How do I access this service?

You must be referred to an osteopath who is able to provide services under the Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS). A referral can be issued by a:

  • General Practitioner (GP)
  • medical specialist
  • treating doctor in hospital
  • hospital discharge planner, or
  • osteopath with a current referral.

Referrals remain active for 12 months from the date of referral, and cannot overlap from one 12 month period to the next.

What happens when I visit the Osteopath?

Please present your DVA Gold or White Health Card at the beginning of a consultation or before you receive treatment. The osteopath will assess your clinical need for osteopathic services, after taking into consideration any other related treatments you are receiving. They will then prepare a written care plan for the period of your care, and discuss it with you. The osteopath will provide you with a copy of the treatment record for your reference.

Do I need to sign a treatment record?

Service providers can submit treatment records electronically. If this is not the case, you may be required to sign a record of treatment at the completion of each visit to ensure your treatment is covered by DVA. Before you sign, please check that the treatment record shows:

  • your name
  • your DVA file number
  • the date of treatment
  • the item number for the service provided, and
  • your accepted disability or condition for which you required osteopathic services and/or supplies (if you are a White Card holder).

If you are unable to sign, a member of your family, or someone else who attends the appointment with you, may sign on your behalf. Otherwise the osteopath must note that you are unable to sign.

Are there limits to the number of services I can receive?

Yes, your osteopath will determine the type, number and frequency of services you require according to your assessed clinical need.

Physiotherapy, osteopathic and chiropractic treatment cannot be provided for the same condition at the same time. You should advise your treating provider if you are receiving treatment for the same condition from a physiotherapist or chiropractor. DVA does not provide funding of physiotherpay, osteopathic and chiropractic treatment on the same day.

You should tell your treating osteopath the name of any other osteopath, physiotherapist or chiropractor who has provided you with treatment during the previous 12 months. This will prevent your current provider from experiencing difficulties in claiming payment for services provided to you.

Do I need to pay for treatment?

No, your osteopath will bill DVA directly for any care provided to you under DVA arrangements. If you are billed by your osteopath, do not pay the account and advise DVA immediately.

Can I be treated as a Medicare or private patient?

Yes, you can choose to be treated as a Medicare or private patient. However, if you take one of these options, DVA will not pay for any services that have been paid in part or full by Medicare, private health insurance or a third party compensation benefit.

More Information

DVA General Enquiries

Phone: 1800 555 254 *


DVA Website:

Factsheet Website:

* Calls from mobile phones and pay phones may incur additional charges.

Related Factsheets


The information contained in this Factsheet is general in nature and does not take into account individual circumstances. You should not make important decisions, such as those that affect your financial or lifestyle position, on the basis of information contained in this Factsheet. Where you are required to lodge a written claim for a benefit, you must take full responsibility for your decisions prior to the written claim being determined. You should seek confirmation in writing of any oral advice you receive from DVA.

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23 May 2018