During an intense game of tennis, you pull a muscle in your arm as you slam a mean backhand to your opponent. While trimming the large tree in your yard from a ladder, you pull a muscle in your back. After training for a marathon, you realize your knees start to badly ache whenever you run. Maybe one of these things or something similar has happened to you or someone you know and after weeks of running around to different physicians, were finally prescribed to a physical therapist. This is what it was like for a majority of people before Direct Access. So, what is Direct Access and what does it mean for you? Keep reading to find out!
Direct Access: “Direct access means the removal of the physician referral mandated by state law to access physical therapists’ services for evaluation and treatment.” Essentially the meaning is in the name. You can see a PT without a prescription!
What does this mean for me?
It Saves You Time
Before Direct Access, you would first have to go to a physician, then they would refer you to an orthopedic specialist where they would then give you a prescription for physical therapy. This means time spent on a waiting list when you are in pain. This process used to take an average of 24 days. Can you imagine waiting that long while you are in pain? You can now save time by going directly to the source and starting a treatment plan on day 1. You don’t have to take extensive time off of work to get the help you need.
It Saves You Money
As mentioned previously, before Direct Access, you would be required to see a series of doctors before being prescribed physical therapy. This translates to a very high bill when all is said and done. You would likely have had a sum from various procedures from x-rays to CT scans in addition to a co-pay. Direct Access allows you to bypass all of these costs by going directly to the source.
It Is a Safe Alternative
It is argued that physical therapy is an effective alternative to surgery. If you can avoid a risky surgery with long recovery time, wouldn’t you? Additionally, there is a national discussion about the Opioid Epidemic and safe alternatives to pain management. Physical therapy can serve as safe pain relief therapy in place of opioids.
You’ll Have Higher Satisfaction
Long story short, this is the reason you choose therapy. A 2014 study found that patients who completed therapy through Direct Access had higher satisfaction than those through Indirect Access. This could be because it was your decision to begin therapy or because your wallet is fuller than it would have been before Direct Access. Either way, we are happy to hear this!
In the state of Iowa, most insurance companies don’t require that you have a doctor’s note to see a physical therapist, so feel free to reach out to us today!