Direct access refers to the removal of the physician referral to access physical therapists’ services for evaluation and treatment. Every state allows for evaluation and some form of treatment without physician referral. In New Jersey, health care consumers are free to seek the services of any physical therapist without visiting a physician and without obtaining a physician referral. Physical therapists practicing in a direct access capacity have the potential to decrease costs and improve outcomes in patients with musculoskeletal complaints without prescribing medications or ordering adjunctive testing that could introduce harm to the patient. Click here to read more about how one hospital system has incorporated direct access to a physical therapist to drive improved outcomes at lower costs.
Physical therapists at BSR Physical Therapy are doctors of physical therapy. This level of training emphasizes the importance of screening individuals in order to determine their appropriateness for management by a physical therapist. If the assessment indicates that management is beyond the scope of a physical therapists practice, referral to another medical professional will be made.
The New Jersey State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners have adopted standards establishing conditions under which a physical therapist is required to refer a patient to another licensed health care provider. A physical therapist:
- Must refer the patient if he or she fails to demonstrate reasonable progress during the first 30 days of treatment, and
- Within 30 days of initial treatment, consult with the individual’s licensed health care professional as to the appropriateness of the treatment, or if there is no licensed professional of record, recommend that the patient consult with one.
Call one of our offices today and schedule your examination with one of our doctors of physical therapy.