Even though this law has been approved in Georgia since 2006, many people may not be aware of the benefits of Direct Access. The purpose of today’s post is to tell you a little bit more on this topic and help you understand your options better.
What is Direct Access?
Direct Access allows patients to go directly to a physical therapists for treatment, without having to wait for a referral from their physician.
Georgia was the 41st state to pass ‘direct access’ legislation (HB 801) in April 2006, opening the doors for consumers to have more control of their healthcare needs.
So what does this really mean?
It means that you can get evaluated and treated by a physical therapist sooner, which may result in better outcomes, lower costs, and less frustration about your recovery time. No doctor’s referral needed.
Many managed care and insurance companies don’t have requirements for a referral for physical therapy because they now recognize the cost savings and improved access to care. Don’t assume that there is a referral requirement, but instead check your contract or payer policy to be sure. Also verify what your insurance company covers before you pay out of pocket.
What is included in Direct Access in Georgia?
- Physical therapy services for fitness, wellness and prevention not related to the treatment of an injury or ailment.
- Return within 60 days of discharge of physical therapy for previously diagnosed and received treatment/services for problems related to an initial referral for therapy.
Note: In case of an injury or illness we can do an assessment and give advice accordingly.
What is required of your physical therapist?
- Physical therapists are licensed professionals, accredited by physical therapy programs at university level, who have at least two years of practical experience.
- They are trained in examination, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of clients with functional limitations, impairments or disabilities.
- If there is no reasonable progress within a specific amount of time, the therapist will refer you to a physician or appropriate specialist.
Sources: American Physical Therapy Association & Physical Therapy Association of Georgia.
Please call us if you have any questions or post your comments below.