Since October is National Physical Therapy Month, we would like to dispel a persistent myth about physical therapy. That myth is that you always need to see a physician first to get referred to a physical therapist.
Current Pennsylvania law allows consumers to access certain physical therapists without a physician referral for up to 30 calendar days of care. The catch here is knowing which physical therapists are legally allowed to practice under these “direct access” laws. Here at Advanced Physical Therapy and Fitness all of the physical therapists have direct access licenses and are therefore legally allowed to examine, evaluate and treat patients for up to 30 calendar days without a physician’s referral. Physical Therapist who possess this license have special training and continuing education to help them recognize “red flags” or signs or symptoms that may be indicative of a more serious condition or a non-musculoskeletal condition while examining and treating you. Unfortunately, patients’ that have Medicare or Medicare Advantage Plans must have a referral because that is a federal law. A few insurances also require a physician referral for treatment from a physical therapist to be paid so you may want to verify with your insurer prior to making your appointment to see a physical therapist.
So, next time you hurt your back, have a stiff neck that doesn’t get better, sprain a knee or ankle being a weekend warrior, or hurt your shoulder painting that ceiling, consider seeing your physical therapist first. Check out this YouTube video and see how physical therapy can help you manage pain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWpnMsAjX5k&feature=youtu.be
Get started on the healing track sooner and avoid complications. Stay active, stay healthy and choose physical therapy first!