“Direct Access” means that legislation has been passed in your state to allow licensed physical therapists to evaluate and treat patients without first seeing a physician. As a “direct access” patient you do not need a prescription from your physician to receive out-patient physical therapy. However, many insurance plans do require you to have a prescription from your physician in order for outpatient physical therapy services to be covered and paid for by the insurance carrier.
As a “Direct Access” provider, physical therapists can truly provide direct access for diagnosis of, interventions for, and prevention of impairments, functional limitations and disabilities related to movement functionality. Physical therapists are experts in proficiently evaluating a patient’s musculoskeletal condition; and if appropriate, safely and effectively treating the patient. Physical therapists are highly-trained healthcare professionals, educated at the baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate level with extensive clinical training. Physical therapists have a proven track record of effectively treating millions of patients.
Physical therapists are also well-qualified to recognize when patients demonstrate conditions that should be evaluated by other healthcare professionals. We will suggest a referral to other health care professionals if necessary. In addition, with your permission, we will send our results to your physician and will work in conjunction with him/her.
To learn more about direct access and rules by state, please visit the official APTA Direct Access Web Page