Skip to main content

In this review: Cost-Effectiveness and Outcomes of Direct Access to Physical Therapy for Musculoskeletal Disorders Compared to Physician-First Access in the United States: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
PTJ (accepted manuscript)

The Message
The U.S. military health care system, as well as care systems in other countries, have a long history of direct access to physical therapist services — with evidence to back up the effectiveness of the approach. Now researchers analyzing only studies of direct access in the civilian U.S. health care say that seeing a PT first for musculoskeletal disorders works in that system, too, and on just about every front, including functional outcomes, decrease in disability, number of physical therapy visits, and cost. The bottom line, according to authors: "Direct access to physical therapy is more cost-effective in fewer visits than physician-first access in the United States, with greater functional improvement."

Log in or create a free account to keep reading.


Join APTA to get unlimited access to content.


You Might Also Like...

Review

Study: Spinal Manipulation for LBP Optimized Via Multifidus Activating Exercises

Jan 8, 2021

The study examines SMT as part of a multi-component treatment protocol — a better reflection of clinical practice, authors say.

News

Direct Access Once Again Boosted by National Policy Organization

Dec 9, 2020

ALEC has reauthorized a resolution that backs unrestricted direct access to physical therapy as important to "free-market health care."

News

TRICARE Adds Final Details on Waivers to Cost-Sharing for LBP Physical Therapy

Oct 28, 2020

The updated information includes a list of accepted ICD-10 codes. APTA has resources to help you optimize participation.