Direct Access to Physical Therapy in IL: What is It and How it Works

What is direct access to physical therapy? How does it work? Read on to learn all about direct access to physical therapy in IL.

For patients dealing with skeletal or muscular issues, there are few treatments that have shown as many positive results as physical therapy. Because not every doctor will send their patients to a physical therapist, many patients seek care on their own terms. Rather than wait for a doctor, direct access to physical therapy can resolve issues quickly to bring you comfort.

Here are five reasons why direct access is a great idea for just about every kind of patient.

1. Direct Access is For Everyone

If you think that direct access is only useful for private practices, you’re wrong. Direct access is being used by major hospital systems across the country to prove care to people with a wide variety of needs.

By eliminating a lot of the hurdles to care, direct access is now preferred by lots of providers. Direct access allows patients to be successfully treated without having to go through the process of referrals

Outpatients everywhere are noticing how useful direct access can be and are clamoring for its extension to all public healthcare systems. It’s sure to grow as healthcare needs and methods of care broaden across the country.

2. It Works for Inpatient and Outpatient Care

While many might think that direct access to physical therapy might just be for people getting outpatient care, that’s not true. Lots of inpatients are learning about the benefits.

As the number of elderly people needing healthcare continues to grow, the private-pay home care industry is growing.

Physical therapists are able to provide direct access for athletes and performing artists. Even school systems and pediatric centers are learning about the benefits of direct access.

Through the help of admission orders from ICUs and other hospital care settings, direct access will only broaden.

3. You Can Be Reimbursed Without a Referral

Knowing what your insurance will actually cover is a struggle. We’ve all had the experience of getting a bill aftercare and being hit by charges we didn’t expect. However, it’s not impossible to get your direct care physical therapy paid for by your insurance company.

Each patient’s coverage will be different but you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you think that every insurance company requires a referral. Call your insurance company before you order care.

If you pay for each office visit out of pocket, the idea of paying for one of those before you can see someone for direct care might be a headache. It’s a reasonable request to ask if you can go for direct access to outpatient care instead.

All you might need to do is to send information from your physical therapist directly to your insurance company. You might be reimbursed for partial or full treatment.

4. Direct Access Is Important

The cost of healthcare has been steadily rising for years. As more people spend a larger part of their salary on health care costs, patients are looking for ways to save

Even as people spend more money on healthcare, there’s little data to show that the quality of care is improving. When you choose direct access, you take your care into your own hands and have the opportunity to achieve better outcomes than you would have otherwise.

When a healthcare system allows a patient to seek their own physical therapist, it can save on time and money spent by a system as well as the patient. Those healthcare dollars won’t be used on unnecessary testing and other specialist referrals. Since there is a low instance of liability claims made due to direct access, it’s nothing short of a sure thing.

Rather than paying for expensive diagnostic testing to evaluate and treat problems, conditions can be addressed directly with a higher degree of efficiency. If there are issues that you’re trying to deal with or discomfort that you want to be addressed, you shouldn’t have to wait. Direct access allows you to get that care immediately.

There are a low cost and a high value to the price of outpatient direct access that you won’t find anywhere else in healthcare.

5. Direct Access Is Safe

While there are opponents to direct access arguing that patients could have problems if they go directly to a physical therapist. Going to one without going to your doctor first is a fear that some medical professionals have raised, but it isn’t a very strong argument.

While physical therapists can’t diagnose serious conditions and don’t’ have access to medication and certain treatments, they have their own training. There’s been very little evidence to show that people who go directly to their physical therapist are at risk of exacerbating problems. Self-referred people are save in the hands of licensed physical therapists who know how to listen to and communicate with their patients.

Self-referred patients don’t tend to consume more healthcare dollars while in the course of physical therapy treatment.

Physical therapists are also trained to notice certain issues that require medical intervention. While doctors don’t often get a hands-on approach, an outpatient physical therapist can see red flags that a doctor can’t.

If you’re still worried, check to see what kinds of safety nets your state might have instated to protect patients. Not all therapists will be allowed to provide direct access. In many states, you’ll need to have a time-tested practice to even be eligible to provide this kind of care.

Direct Access To Physical Therapy is a Smart Choice

If you feel like your doctor will get in the way or if you need to have relief of discomfort today, try getting outpatient direct access to physical therapy. See if your insurance provider will cover it and ask if there are therapists within your network. Do your research in advance and you’ll get the relief that you need fast.

If you’re wondering what you can expect during your first physical therapy appointment, check out our guide for more tips.