Skip to main content

While state law generally allows patients to seek evaluation and treatment from a licensed physical therapist without a prescription or referral from a physician, patients are limited in their ability to do so in many states by arbitrary and unnecessary restrictions.

These restrictions are typically in the form of time and visit limits, previous diagnosis requirements, limited patient populations, or requiring a referral for certain types of treatment.

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 by these restrictions.

See more about Direct Access in Practice and Direct Access Advocacy.

Log in or create a free account to keep reading.


Join APTA to get unlimited access to content.


You Might Also Like...

Roundup

APTA 2022 State Legislation Roundup: Prior Authorization, Telehealth, and More

Aug 26, 2022

State advocates for the profession racked up some important wins this year. Here are highlights.

Review

Study: Early Physical Therapy Provides a Leg Up on Knee Pain

Aug 11, 2021

Research in the military health care system revealed lower costs and symptom recurrence for patients who saw a PT within 30 days.

Roundup

APTA 2021 Statehouse Roundup: New Prepayment Review Law, Imaging Wins, More

Jul 26, 2021

From better insurer responsiveness to direct access improvements, to breakthroughs on PT use of imaging, lots of state-level achievements.