"Direct access is exactly what it sounds like: patients having direct access to licensed physical therapists. This means that they do not need a physician referral or prescription in order to receive the services of physical therapists." (IPTA, 2018)
"On August 16, 2018, Governor Rauner signed new direct access legislation into law. This law, effective immediately, provides for patients to be evaluated and treated without a referral or script from a physician." (IPTA, 2018)
Benefits of Direct Access to Physical Therapy:
· For some insurance plans, it means to don't have to wait for a referral or an order from your physician to get started with care.
· Direct access to skilled physical therapy can reduce the need for over-the-counter and opiod use to control pain.
· You can return to optimum health and functioning by seeing a physical therapist to provide a treatment diagnosis that will get you back on your feet without functional limitations.
· Direct Access to Physical therapy can cut your time-off work, reduce lost income from a musculoskeletal injury, get you moving in a safer and more efficient manner to reduce re-injury.
Rules for Direct Access
Your physician will be notified in 5 business days that you are attending physical therapy services for their own medical records. If there is no measurable or functionable improvement after 10 visits or 15 business days;
If a patient returns for services for the same or similar condition after 30 calendar days following being initially discharged by the physical therapist;
Or, a patient whose condition is evaluated and determined to be beyond the scope of practice for physical therapists. (IPTA,2018)