Direct Access to Physical Therapy
Many patients have the understanding that they have to go to their doctor to receive a referral to see a physical therapist. What they don’t know is that based on research, direct access to physical therapy can save a lot of money. Direct access to physical therapy means a patient is seen by a physical therapist without first seeing their doctor.
Cost of Referral vs. Direct Access
Referral programs can be incredibly expensive and cost ineffective for patients. A study was performed and published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy. This study took two groups of patients experiencing neck pain and/or back pain, one of which had direct access to physical therapy, while the other had physical therapy through medical referral. The patients who had direct access to physical therapy saved an average of $1,543 in costs on their bills than those who received a referral.
Is the Quality of Treatment the Same?
Absolutely. All physical therapists are licensed or certified by the state in which they practice. In the study discussed above, the patients who had direct access treatment had less therapy sessions and total care. The results of treatment were shown to be similar to that of referred physical treatment.
The link to the study is provided for further reading:
Direct Access to Physical Therapy in Portland OR and Vancouver WA
Seeing Patients in the following Portland and Vancouver areas: