How Direct Access to Physical Therapy Works

Jan 17, 2022

ProActive Physical Therapy

by ProActive Physical Therapy

In popular culture, “access” implies exclusivity—like a backstage pass to a rock concert or high-level clearance to government files. However, the opposite is true regarding direct access to physical therapy. Direct access allows a patient to go to a physical therapist to receive an evaluation and treatment without a physician’s prescription or referral. That’s right; direct access essentially cuts out the middleman—no backstage passes, security authorizations, or physician prescriptions necessary.

Sometimes, when you’re suffering from an ache, pain, or injury, you have a pretty good idea of what you’re dealing with and might be able to pinpoint the cause of it. So when that is the case, wouldn’t you prefer to get right to your physical therapist to begin treatment?

Direct access means that if patients feel they have an issue that may benefit from physical therapy, they may contact a PT’s office and make an appointment without a referral. Patients who want insurance to help pay for their care should check with their insurance company to see if care is covered*.

* For insurance coverage, specific requirements from your insurance may not allow a direct access referral. Some insurances require a physician referral for coverage, and we can help with the guidelines.

Direct access is advantageous to patients in various ways, and if a PT cannot help, the patient will be referred to the proper healthcare professional.

The Many Advantages of Using Direct Access: 

  1. It saves time, money, and stress, with no need for a time-consuming trip to a doctor’s office. Going straight to a physical therapist will allow you to get help, lower your costs, eliminate expensive diagnostic testing, and decrease wait times at doctor’s offices.
  2. It helps patients become more actively engaged in their healthcare decision-making. The physical therapist is recognized as a licensed professional of choice to manage musculoskeletal and movement disorders in patients.
  3. Improves patient access to care. Physical therapists can now work as integral members of the health care team and provide a cost-effective access point for patients with various musculoskeletal conditions that impact their ability to move and perform functional activities.
  4. It can become a part of a patient’s routine for injury prevention, fitness, and health. Physical therapy improves conditions that impact the ability to move and perform functional activities, thus improving outcomes and providing increased strength and mobility to help prevent future injury.

Man suffering lower back pain.

No Referral Needed

We believe rapid access to our services is essential to efficient healthcare delivery. With direct access in Arizona, you can seek physical therapy services without a prescription from your physician or healthcare professional. Physical therapists have become part of the front-line management for musculoskeletal pain or injury patients. As physical therapists, we’re experts in movement and movement dysfunction, evaluating the injury/pain, underlying conditions, and contributing factors. Many needs can be addressed, assessed, and quickly treated without expensive ongoing testing or surgery. However, should your injury or condition be outside our scope of practice, we can refer you for further evaluation with one of the many physicians and medical providers with whom we’re connected.

Don’t Let Health Benefits Go Unused 

In January, most health plans reset, allowing individuals to continue preventive or elective medical treatment. With your Full Recovery Focus in mind, come to ProActive to get a hands-on, individualized approach to your evaluation and treatment. With your specific needs in mind, we can restore movement, improve function, and get you pain-free and feeling better than ever so you can start enjoying life again. Most think of physical therapy as a post-surgery requirement, but in reality, ProActive physical therapists are experts in restoring movement and function without surgical intervention!

If you’ve recently been injured or are suffering from a nagging ache or pain that won’t go away, contact us today so you can meet one-on-one with one of our physical therapists.

Schedule your free assessment here.

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