What is Direct Access?
As of October 1, 2006, patients in Connecticut can be seen by a physical therapist without being referred by a physician or other provider. If you feel you have a problem that may benefit from the skilled services of a physical therapist, you may be able to refer yourself to physical therapy for treatment. Sometimes direct access is called self-referral. This can save valuable time and money.
Why Is Direct Access Important?
Healthcare is expensive. A system that allows the patient to directly seek the services of a physical therapist can help save healthcare dollars by eliminating unnecessary tests or other specialist referrals. Many conditions can be successfully evaluated and treated without expensive diagnostic testing. Visiting your physical therapist directly allows you to start treatment right away. Physical therapy is a low cost, value-packed healthcare service.
There are some limitations/restrictions in seeking physical therapy through Direct Access.
- Exceptions to the Direct Access Law include:
- Worker’s compensation
- Liability cases
Medicare patients can be seen for an evaluation only without a physician referral. Physician written or oral authorization can be obtained on the evaluation day in order to begin treatment as soon as possible
Through Direct Access, a patient can attend up to six physical therapy sessions over a thirty day period. If the patient does not show objective, measurable, functional improvement in any 30-day consecutive period or at the end of six visits of physical therapy, whichever occurs sooner, then the patient needs to be evaluated by a qualified physician or provider. If the patient is improving with physical therapy, then they can continue to attend without their provider's evaluation.
Call our office at (860) 673-0223 if you have any questions about direct access to physical therapy or to make an appointment. We look forward to helping you!