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PHYSICAL THERAPY WITHOUT A PHYSICIAN REFERRAL
What is Direct Access?
“Direct access” simply means that state law no longer requires a physician referral or prescription for certain services. In 2016, Louisiana amended the state Physical Therapy Practice Act to allow patients to go directly to a physical therapist for evaluation and treatment. Making an appointment directly for a physical therapy assessment at St. James Parish Hospital may help patients who feel limited in their daily activities due to pain, unexplained and/or ongoing stiffness, and sudden problems with movement, strength, and flexibility.
What to expect?
Studies show that early Physical Therapy intervention POSITIVELY affects outcomes.
Benefits of Direct Access
- Better outcomes
- Quicker access to treatment
- Reduced healthcare costs
- Reduce opiod usage
- Reduces likelihood of surgery
- Helps manage pain
“The CDC recommends non-drug approaches such as Physical Therapy (PT) over long-term or high-dosage use of prescription pain medications.”
Facts for Patients
- Direct access applies only to physical therapy services at this time. Occupational and speech therapy still require a referral/order.
- Our team will conduct an extensive evaluation to determine a plan of care within the scope of physical therapy. If our therapists determine there is a medical issue outside of physical therapy or if there is a need for diagnostic testing, you will be referred to your physician.
- Legally, you must be referred to a physician if measurable improvements are not made within 30 days.
- Your personal insurance benefits will determine individual requirements for direct access.