*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.
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, www.verywellhealth.com/what-is-direct-access-to-physical-therapy-2696649.