Also known as self-referral, this means a patient can have immediate access to physical therapy services without a referral from a physician or other healthcare provider.
Some things you should know about Direct Access:
- Physical therapist are trained to provide a thorough assessment of the musculoskeletal and movement systems. So, if you have symptoms that are limiting your daily activities; such as walking up and down the stairs or getting dressed, a physical therapist may be the most appropriate provider for you to consult with.
- Direct access is safe. Physical therapist are trained to recognize “red flags” or anything that warrants a referral to your healthcare provider immediately.
- Common symptoms that you should consult a physical therapist for are; pain that limits activity, comes and goes or changes with positions. Physical therapy is also indicated after an acute injury such as an ankle sprain, onset of neck or back pain, or chronic pain that may be related to postural strains or repetitive tasks.
- Conditions that should be addressed immediately by your healthcare provider are; pain that is progressively getting worse, unexplained weight less, headaches, numbness and tingling, inability to weight bear, pain that is unrelenting or causing you to wake at night.
- Many insurances companies recognize the benefits of direct access and reimburse for services provided under direct access. But it is important to check with your individual policy for payment regarding these services.
- Your physical therapist will work closely with you and your current healthcare provider; even under direct access. The goal of your physical therapist is to provide the best care possible, and this will includes communication with your current provider.
If you’d like to talk more about your specific situation and how we can help, please contact your local Drayer. We’d be happy to help!