Direct Access in Physical Therapy

Patients in the United States must often see a physician before receiving a referral for future services while seeking medical care for a variety of ailments. This is true for all sorts of specialist medical care. Is it, however, required for all sorts of medical care that necessitates professional visits?

The answer is no, and this is where direct access becomes necessary.

Patients have the right to an evaluation or consultation in most situations without the necessity for a referral. This allows individuals to seek medical attention for a condition and learn more about what their next steps should – and should not – be. Physical therapy is one of the sorts of medical care that does not require a referral in order for patients to begin treatment. However, there is one drawback. When it comes to using insurance to pay for sessions, some people have restricted direct access. This is when things start to become a little more complicated.

In an ideal world, physical therapy patients would be able to complete all of their tasks in only one session.

  • Select a physical treatment facility.

  • Having physical therapists evaluate their health and ability.

  • Treatment is being recommended again.

This is especially relevant now when the COVID-19 pandemic is reducing the amount of non-emergency interaction patients can have with their doctors. Direct access to physical therapy eliminates an extra step — and a journey out of the house – in this situation. There is a difference between home exercise and home health care, including physical therapy. Consider putting them to work for you, starting right now.

Why is it necessary to provide direct access to physical therapy patients during the COVID-19 pandemic?

When it comes to the types of physical therapy sessions that promote better health and fitness, getting started as soon as possible is crucial. Unfortunately, there are often several roadblocks between a patient and a follow-up appointment — especially these days.

Most patients require a referral from their physician before proceeding to the next step following an evaluation or consultation in order to obtain treatment.

While some jurisdictions may not require a reference to continue treatment, the majority of insurance companies must. For many, this is a barrier because the cost of numerous sessions, as well as the in-office visit for the referral, can quickly add up. Make an appointment for this first session and ask for a referral if one is required. Patients can avoid the back-and-forth with their insurance companies over whether or not essential – but not necessarily referred – sessions are covered by doing so.

Worse, the validity of these referrals is frequently limited to a specific period of time. Patients must request a renewal of their referrals at least once during their treatment, especially if their injuries are severe or the body takes a long time to recuperate. Those who suffer from chronic illnesses or disabilities that last a lifetime are another typical problem. If a new condition occurs, or if the patient’s functional limitations worsen, the patient must request that the referral be changed again. Additional consultation and examination are frequently required as a result of these difficulties. This, while beneficial, adds to the time of the process.

These patients will be able to save time and effort by having direct access to physical therapy. They’ll also reduce the number of appointments they need to make with their doctors.

COVID-19 has made it nearly impossible to secure appointments for basic problems in the United States. Waiting a few weeks to start physical therapy might cause injuries to aggravate or give the body more time to weaken. Patients – and physical therapy practitioners – want to prevent both of these disorders as much as possible. Direct access to physical therapy reduces the likelihood of these consequences occurring dramatically.

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Illustrates the Benefits of Direct Physical Therapy Access

The concept of social separation wherever possible is one of the most critical parts of appropriately caring for both those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and those who have not.

Ways You Can Stay Safe

  • Getting rid of non-essential excursions.

  • Not congregating in confined areas such as waiting rooms or even taking public transit.

  • Performing home activities that are appropriate for your needs by utilizing your surroundings.

Something more to keep in mind?

General practitioners and family doctors will see and treat patients who have been diagnosed with the Coronavirus, despite the fact that a physical therapist will not. This implies that each time you visit your doctor’s office, you’re increasing your chances of coming into contact with others who may have or be carrying the virus.

PT Professionals’ Recommendations for Conditions and Techniques Virtually

This form of care may appear to be different from others, but it is really similar. Telehealth provides direct access to physical therapy for a range of problems, but they don’t only give advice.

Physical therapists help their patients in a variety of ways. This includes recommending various therapies such as cupping, PT tape, and even stretching. Because the ultimate goal of physical therapy is to improve strength and mobility, there are a variety of treatment approaches available.

It doesn’t have to be difficult obtaining physical therapy from PT providers. However, you should be aware that you may not notice – or feel – immediate effects. This does not imply that you are not making progress.

Direct access to physical therapy varies based on the type of insurance you have and the therapy alternatives available in your area.

It’s worth investigating. Consider physical therapy if you want to increase your strength, mobility, and health. If you’re in the Asheville, NC area, CONTACT us here at 1on1 Physical Therapy, we’d love to connect with you.

(828) 785-8388

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