Are you looking for a way to get physical therapy without a doctor's prescription? You're in luck! According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), there are cases where a patient can receive direct-access care without a prescription. In most cases, these laws provide patients with direct access to specialized physical therapy without the need for a referral or prescription from their doctor before starting treatment. In some states, consumers have direct and unrestricted access to physical therapy, while other states have some guidelines for the number of visits or the time a patient can receive physical therapy treatment before requesting a referral or prescription from their doctor. Medicare doesn't require a doctor's order, but it does require the doctor's signature on the physical therapy plan.
A recent study by BlueCross BlueShield in South Carolina showed that direct access to physical therapy reduced total healthcare costs by 31 percent, in patients' out-of-pocket expenses by 80 percent and in opioid use by 90 percent. This means you have direct access to physical therapy, without needing a referral or prescription from your doctor. Your physical therapist will be able to help you with any questions or concerns. As always, if you have a musculoskeletal injury or other diagnosis, you should discuss your options with your doctor or physical therapist to ensure the best treatment practices.
With direct access to a physical therapist, you can see a physical therapist today and begin your recovery immediately. We've compiled a guide to insurance coverage for physical therapy services to help you understand if your specific plan will cover your treatment. As long as the physical therapist sets up a plan of care for the patient, the care is covered by Medicare.