Massachusetts is one of 20 states that allow patients total, unrestricted access to a physical therapist. No type of physician referral is required for a physical therapist to treat a patient. So, if you are suffering from acute or chronic pain, you don't have to wait to see a physical therapist.
Many conditions are successfully treated by hands-on treatment and individualized exercise programs provided by your physical therapist. Painful and expensive surgeries can be put off and sometimes even eradicated altogether. Plus, physical therapy has been known to reduce and sometimes even eliminate the need for dangerously addictive painkillers. Physical therapists are also highly trained in identifying conditions that might need further evaluation or medical treatment and can include primary care physicians when needed.
What is Direct Access?
In accordance with Massachusetts State Law, Direct Access means an individual can be seen directly by a Physical Therapist, without a prescription or referral from their doctor.
Benefits of Direct Access
Direct Access to Massachusetts Physical Therapists provides many benefits, including but not limited to:
- Giving you much quicker access the treatment you need and deserve.
- Physical therapy by way of direct access possibly reducing healthcare costs and promoting high-quality health care.
- Seeing a physical therapist first, in many cases, will result in fewer overall treatment sessions.
There are also guidelines and restrictions for direct access to physical therapy treatments in Massachusetts, which include:
- If the PT feels that the patient’s care goes beyond the physical therapy scope of practice, or if PT is contraindicated, the therapist must refer the patient to an appropriate licensed practitioner.
- If the patient was referred to the PT, the PT must communicate with the licensed referring practitioner throughout the duration of treatment. The PT must also disclose to the patient any financial interest if the referring physician derives income from the PT services.
Over 90% of insurance companies reimburse for direct access treatment. But some insurance may require a physician referral. Medicare typically does. If you are unsure if your insurance covers direct access, please give us a call.