“Direct Access” to Physical Therapy
Direct Access allows patients to go directly to a physical therapist without a doctor’s referral, and have the visit paid for by an insurance provider. This is a right granted to better serve the public by allowing physical therapists to serve as an alternate route of entry into health care. Conshohocken Physical Therapy is a Direct Access facility.
Today’s environment of health consciousness, pursuit of physical fitness, and the promotion of a concept of wellness is tempered by the need to control the escalating costs of health care. Two areas of intense legislative focus have been how to increase access while still achieving cost containment. One of the most effective tools for cost control and increased access is easily attainable yet often overlooked and underutilized by the legislatures – that of direct access to the services provided by health care professionals.
Physical therapy is the case in point. Entry into the profession and practice of the profession are stringently regulated by all states, and as highly trained health care professionals, physical therapists have a proven track record of effectively treating millions of patients. Physical therapists are well-qualified, both through formal education and clinical training, to evaluate a patient’s condition, assess his or her physical therapy needs and, if appropriate, safely and effectively treat the patient. Physical therapists are also well-qualified to recognize when patients demonstrate conditions, signs and symptoms that should be evaluated by other health care professionals before therapy is instituted. Physical therapists recognize when it is appropriate to refer patients to these other health care professionals for consultation.