As of January 1, 2015, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands allow patients to seek some level of treatment from a licensed physical therapist without a prescription or referral from a physician. However, in many jurisdictions, such treatment is limited by arbitrary restrictions in state law. These restrictions do not recognize the professional training and expertise of the licensed physical therapist, nor do they serve the needs of those patients who require physical therapy but whose care is unnecessarily interrupted or prevented by these restrictions.
Studies in Support of Direct Access
- Direct Access to PT Services
Resource listing for various studies (RefShare)
- Health Services Research
A comparison of health care use for physician-referred and self-referred episodes of outpatient physical therapy
- Mitchell Study
A comparison of resource use and cost in direct access versus physician referral episodes of physical therapy