ALEXANDRIA, VA, April 29, 2008 — Minnesota residents will find
it easier to obtain services from a licensed physical therapist under
legislation signed into law April 17 by Minnesota Gov Tim Pawlenty.
Senate File 1018, sponsored by Sen Yvonne Prettner Solon, and House File
1189, sponsored by Rep Paul Thissen, expand the timeframe in which
patients may visit physical therapists without a physician referral.
"Providing patients and clients with direct access to physical
therapist services saves them money and prevents unnecessary delays in
services that can affect recovery," said Joan Purrington, PT, MA,
President of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Physical Therapy
Association. "Legislation that helps ease restrictions on access to
physical therapist services better serves Minnesota consumers."
Under the new law, patients are allowed 90 days of treatment by a
physical therapist without a physician referral. Prior to this law,
treatment was limited to 30 days.
"We congratulate Minnesota patients and physical therapists for
working hard to improve patient care," said American Physical Therapy
Association (APTA) President R Scott Ward, PT, PhD. "Studies show what
those involved in the physical therapy profession know to be true - that
direct access lowers costs, improves access to care, and offers patients
a greater choice of services. Minnesota has taken another step to
improve health care quality for its citizens."
Physical therapists are health care professionals who diagnose and
treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, who have
medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their
abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily
lives. Physical therapists examine each individual and develop a plan of
care that uses treatment techniques to promote the ability to move,
reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. Physical
therapists also work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility by
developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and
more active lifestyles.
As a member-driven and volunteer-led organization, the Minnesota
Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association (MN APTA) leads its
membership in advocating for and securing the future of the profession
of Physical Therapy. For more information, visit www.mnapta.org.
The American Physical Therapy Association (www.apta.org) is a
national organization representing more than 71,000 physical therapists,
physical therapist assistants, and students nationwide. Its goal is to
foster advancements in physical therapist education, practice, and
research. Consumers can access www.findapt.us to find a physical therapist in their
area, as well as physical therapy news and information at www.apta.org/consumer.