Baton Rouge Physical Therapy Services: Do I Need a Referral for Physical Therapy?

Jun23rd 2022

When it comes to medical treatment, common tasks like filling a prescription for a medication, or being referred to a specialist are typical tasks that your insurance company and doctor’s offices handle.  Whether you are on Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance, the coverages that these platforms provide make the treatments that you need affordable.  The same is true for physical therapy.  However, it is a common misconception that in order to receive physical therapy that you need a referral, or even a prescription from your doctor in order to begin treatment.  This is not the case in Louisiana thanks to “Direct Access”, which was passed as part of the Physical Therapy Act in 2016. 

Due to this act, which has since been passed into law, physical therapists can implement their skills and care to prevent impairments, limitations, and disabilities in patients.  Through these interventions, functionality can be restored, and the overall cost of care can be reduced.

What is the Physical Therapy Act?

The Physical Therapy Act, which became active as a law on June 6, 2016, allows patients to seek the care of a physical therapist that possesses a doctorate or five years of licensed clinical practice experience without a prescription or referral. 

What are the Benefits of Direct Access to Physical Therapy Care?

The implementation of direct access to physical therapy has many benefits. Direct access eliminates the need for referral and provides the ability to select the PT of your choice. This expedited access to care reduces the overall healthcare cost of Louisianans.  In fact, studies have shown that patients needing physical therapy experience 86% fewer visits than referral patients and there are no unnecessary co-pay payments or expenses.  This prompt attention and service has also been shown to reduce a patient’s exposure and potential dependence on opiates, which has become an issue in Louisiana.  By directly addressing pain management through manual therapy, physical manipulations, and kinetic treatment, each patient that can benefit and recover through physical therapy now has that opportunity.

Should I See My Physician Before Seeing a Physical Therapist?

The quick and simple answer is “no”. One of the best benefits of direct access is that you don’t have to have a prescription or referral from your regular doctor.  Furthermore, once your condition is determined, a game plan can be developed that your physician and therapist can work on together. 

How Does Direct Access Work for Physical Therapy Treatment?

Direct access allows you to directly schedule an appointment and receive an evaluation from a physical therapist.  Whether you are seeking treatment for chronic pain, an injury, or any ailment that affects your bones, joints, tendons, or muscles between your head and your toes, you can immediately have access to the kind of physical therapy treatment that you need.   

You no longer need to worry about setting multiple appointments and going through any red tape to seek the expertise of a physical therapist.  The expert staff at Evolve Physical Therapy in Baton Rouge is here to help.

Get a Free Wellness Screening at Evolve Physical Therapy!