What is Direct Access?
This means that a patient can see a physical therapist without needing to obtain a referral from a physician first.
Why Direct Access Physical Therapy?
- Saves money - Direct Access eliminates the need for the initial physician visit to obtain a referral. This could also reduce unnecessary tests and medications during that initial physician visit.
- Saves time - Patients can call physical therapy clinics directly to see up appointments without having to wait for the referral to come through and get scheduled.
- Faster healing time - The quicker a patient can start treatment, the quicker they can reach discharge.
What States Offer Direct Access?
- All 50 states, DC and the US Virgin Island all offer some form of direct access.
- As outlined by the APTA, there are several levels of access depending on which state a patient is in:
- Limited Patient Access: Access to evaluation, fitness and wellness, and limited treatment only to certain patient populations or under certain circumstances (e.g., treatment restricted to patients with a previous medical diagnosis or subject of a previous physician referral).
- Patient Access with Provisions: Access to evaluation and treatment with some provisions such as a time or visit limit, or referral requirement for a specific treatment intervention such as needle EMG or spinal manipulation.
- Unrestricted Patient Access: No restrictions or limitations whatsoever for treatment absent a referral
- Will My Insurance Cover Direct Access?
Most insurance companies will pay for physical therapy without a referral but there are some who do require one. Blue Sky’s billing department is available to verify benefits prior to a patient’s appointment to determine whether a referral will still be required.
Are you ready to schedule a direct access appointment? Give one of Blue Sky’s outpatient clinics a call today.