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Direct Access to Physical Therapy

Through direct access, in most U.S. states, patients can be evaluated and treated by a physical therapist without being referred by a doctor or other healthcare practitioner. Because direct access is regulated at the state level, specific laws vary, meaning some states have no rules, while others have limits on the number of visits or the time period for which patients can seek physical therapy before a doctor’s prescription becomes necessary. Due to this, we strongly recommend calling your nearest PRN network clinic location or visiting the American Physical Therapy Association’s site to learn more.

No Restrictions on Evaluations

Every state allows a patient to receive an evaluation without a referral. Physical therapists can diagnose and provide treatment, interventions and preventative measures for impairments, functional limitations and disabilities related to movement and functionality. 

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Why Choose PRN?

PRN's network of therapists are highly-trained healthcare professionals with extensive clinical training and have a proven track record of effectively treating thousands of patients. These experts are proficient in evaluating all types of musculoskeletal conditions and can safely and effectively treat the problems at hand.

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Common PT Direct Access Questions

What happens if I don't qualify for physical therapy

PRN physical therapists are well-qualified to recognize when patients demonstrate conditions that should be evaluated by other healthcare professionals. In these cases, we will suggest a referral to other healthcare providers when necessary. Call one of our facilities today schedule your direct access appointment with one of our therapists.

When did direct access apply to physical therapy?

*In the United States, provisions for physical therapy services are governed by each individual state through a "state-practice" act. The practice act is legislation that outlines how physical therapy services will be delivered. Historically, each state's practice act provided that physical therapy services would be provided only if ordered by a licensed physician or another licensed healthcare practitioner. 

The  American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has lobbied successfully in many states to help change the law to allow patients direct access to physical therapy. By having direct access in each state, physical therapists are recognized as licensed professionals of choice to initially manage musculoskeletal and movement disorders in patients.

*Brett Sears, PT. “How Direct Access to Physical Therapy Works.” Verywell Health, 24 Nov. 2019,