Did You Know That YOU Can Get Physical Therapy Without a Prescription?
NOW YOU CAN BEGIN TREATMENT RIGHT AWAY!
Studies show, that more than 75% of people did NOT know that they can see a physical therapist without first going to a medical doctor! When a patient comes to see a physical therapist as a first course of action for a musculoskeletal issue, this is known as “Direct Access”, and it became law in New Jersey in 2004. So anyone can walk into a physical therapy office and receive physical therapy without a prescription or referral from their primary doctor, and it is covered by insurance.
At Game Shape Physical Therapy, we offer services rendered by a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). Dr. Michelle Wolpov, PT, DPT, MBA, ATC, CSCS is also the owner and director of the facility. She has over 35 years of experience and has owned the practice since its inception in 2002. By having “Direct Access” to our team of physical therapists, patients eliminate wasted time waiting for referrals, as well as, those out-of-pocket expenses for a visit to a primary care physician or orthopedist. This will allow the patient to get back on the road to recovery starting on day 1.
“Direct Access”: NJ Law states that anyone can see a physical therapist without getting a referral or prescription from a physician.
Cost-Effectiveness and Faster Recovery
The change in healthcare reform aims to provide affordable and accessible care to people for a healthier and happier society. A study from Georgetown and John’s Hopkin’s University found that the total paid claims averaged $2,236 for “physician referral” episodes of PT, as compared to $1,004 for “direct access” episodes of PT. The same study also revealed that the physician referral episodes were 65% longer in duration, than PT direct access episodes. A similar study from the Journal of Health Services and Research reviewed 62,707 episodes of physical therapy and found that direct access to physical therapy produced 27% fewer visits and lower average costs. Studies published in Military Medicine show that having direct access to physical therapy created a 50% higher rate of return –to-duty (similar to return to work).
The Rules Governing Direct Access in New Jersey
- The PT must ensure that the services provided are medically necessary
- The PT must rely on their evaluation and clinical decision-making skills to identify patients who might not be a physical therapy candidate (differential diagnosis)
- The PT must produce documentation that supports their clinical diagnosis and is aligned with the professional standards of care
- The PT must make referrals to other physician specialists to assist diagnosis and treatment as appropriate
- The PT plan of care must be certified by a physician within 30 days of the initial therapy visit
- Recertification of the plan of care is required if the patient’s condition changes, long-term goals change or if the care continues past 90 days from the initial therapy visit
Most Insurance Plans cover physical therapy through Direct Access, with the exception of Workman’s Comp (WC) and Motor Vehicle (MVA).
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“Direct Access”: means that anyone can see a physical therapist without getting a referral or prescription from a physician.
It took a lot of expense and effort on the part of physical therapists and physical therapy advocates throughout the U.S., and 25 years, to finally get consumers (like you) to have “Direct Access” to physical therapy services. So we’re truly grateful you are reading this information right now and we hope you share it with everyone you know!
We would like to hear from you. Feel free to submit a comment on this issue or a testimonial about physical therapy.
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If you have ever had physical therapy or know someone who has and it was super beneficial, then we need you to spread the word! Our experience is that no amount of marketing dollars can surpass “word of mouth” referrals. Research shows that peer recommendations, especially face-to-face or on the web, is the most helpful way to share a great experience. Online reviews, on sites like Yelp and Facebook, really boost the credibility of our services. So we thank you in advance for taking the time to share a testimonial and for letting everyone know that they have direct access to physical therapy.