09 Oct Physical Therapy: No Prescription Needed
Direct access to physical therapy is your opportunity to be evaluated and treated by a licensed physical therapist without first seeing your physician for a prescription. If payment is approved by your insurance company, direct access is your opportunity to save time and money, thereby expediting your treatment, relief and recovery. Direct Access is described in depth by the American Physical Therapy Association as follows:
What does patient access to physical therapists’ services without referral mean and why is it needed?
Patient access to physical therapists’ services without referral means the removal of the physician referral mandated by state law to access physical therapists’ services. Thirty-eight (38) states, including New York, have granted consumers the freedom to seek physical therapy treatment without a referral. The old referral mandate caused delays in the provision of physical therapists’ services to individuals who would benefit from treatment by a physical therapist. Delays in care result in higher cost, decreased functional outcomes and frustration to patients seeking physical therapy treatment. Eliminating the referral mandate results in timely, and thus more effective, physical therapists’ services.
Are physical therapists qualified to deliver physical therapists’ services independent of referral?
Absolutely. Physical therapists are educated at the post-baccalaureate level and receive extensive education and clinical training in the examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention of patient/clients with functional limitations, impairments and disabilities. Beginning January 1, 2002 all physical therapy programs were required to be accredited at the masters level. Physical therapists are qualified to recognize when a patient presents with signs and symptoms inconsistent or outside the scope and expertise of the physical therapist and when the patient should be referred to a physician. APTA’s Guide of Professional Conduct advocates that physical therapists should assist patients in receiving appropriate medical care when the physical therapists’ examination and evaluation reveals signs and symptoms inconsistent with a condition that can be appropriately treated with physical therapy or needs a physician’s care and expertise.
Take advantage of getting professional treatment for any physical limitation and/or impairment you may be feeling.
If you have an injury, pain or physical discomfort that you believe is musculoskeletal in nature, don’t hesitate to go visit a physical therapist. Often getting on top of an injury or impairment quickly is the key to full long-term recovery and sustained quality of life. You now have Direct Access, take advantage of it!