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Direct Access

Frequently Asked Questions

What is direct access?

Direct access allows patients needing physical therapy to walk into a therapy clinic and schedule an evaluation without a referral from a physician. Unfortunately, current Texas state law prohibits this. In Texas, any patient who needs physical therapy must first visit their primary care physician to obtain a referral. Currently, 188 million Americans in 40 states across the nation have direct access to physical therapy.

Consider this: you can see a personal trainer, massage therapist, acupuncturist, podiatrist and even a chiropractor without first consulting your physician. All practicing physical therapists hold either master's or doctoral degrees and must keep up with evidenced-based practice.

Why is direct access important?

Not having direct access is important and affects anyone who needs physical therapy. Since you must first visit your doctor for approval for therapy, getting some relief turns into a lengthy process. Having to wait for your referral can put a great deal of extra strain on your body and mind. Direct access also saves you time and money by minimizing unnecessary visits to your primary care physician.

For more information visit: http://www.apta.org/StateIssues/DirectAccess/Overview/

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