What is direct access and self-referral?
Direct access and self-referral means that patients are able to refer themselves to a physical therapist without having to see anyone else first, or without being told to refer themselves by another health professional. This can relate to telephone and face-to-face services, as well as those delivered via new media such as over the internet.
Ohio has had Direct Access / Self Referral for Physical Therapy since 2004.
In the state of Ohio (and all states except for two) you are free to decide that you need physical therapy and see a physical therapist without any need for a prescription or referral from anyone. Licensed physical therapists have expertise in evaluating and understanding when to refer a patient to a physician when the client has symptoms or a diagnosis that needs physician care.
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. This is assisted through direct access. Direct access is one of the most cost effective tools for cost control and increased access. Direct access allows patients to save time, money and unnecessary medical costs by seeing a physical therapist first, and not requiring any other medical visits or referral to be evaluated and treated by a physical therapist.
The physical therapy profession and practice of the profession are stringently regulated by all states, and as highly trained healthcare 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 healthcare professionals before therapy is instituted. Physical therapists recognize when it is appropriate to refer patients to these other healthcare professionals for consultation.
How Direct Access Helps You:
Save money by going straight to the treatment practitioner you need: your physical therapist (me)
Save time when you don’t need to see a primary care physician and your specialist before getting a referral to treatment
Minimize time off of your sport since you can get right in for physical therapy, rather than waiting for more appointments and being told to “take time off”
Save healthcare money by not receiving unnecessary tests
Find out the real cause of your pain and receive treatment on your first visit
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