Over the next few weeks, we’re going to start a series called “did you know?” Unfortunately, even though the majority of us have health insurance, we don’t really know what what it covers, especially when it comes to physical therapy. We’re going to discuss the problems that we are facing when it comes to dealing with insurance companies in physical therapy, the different types of models in physical therapy, and how you should go about finding out what your benefits and access to PT are.

We’ve partnered up with our good friends Inside Out Physical Therapy and owner Dr. Dave Paczkowski to shed some light on why it’s important to know all your options when dealing with an injury or trying to prevent one from occurring. This week we are going to cover direct access to physical therapy. Never heard of it or are unaware of what it is? Let’s dive into the first part of our series!

What Is Direct Access?

In New York and in the majority of states here in the US, you have the option to see a physical therapist without needing a referral from a doctor. Let me repeat that. YOU have the option to see a physical therapist WITHOUT needing a referral. Many people that I come in contact with think that they need to be sent to physical therapy by a physician. A physical therapist can assess, diagnose, and determine further course of treatment depending on the condition. We also have the knowledge and skill set to refer to another provider should you need further testing or other care that might be out of our scope of practice. 

Old School vs. New School

I’ll give you a pretty typical example as to how people normally go about dealing with any discomfort or injury they are experiencing:

Here is the typical example we see when people are dealing with discomfort.

By this example is over, it’s usually 2-3 months from when the initial injury occurred. If Client A knew that he could contact a physical therapist and be seen for his low back pain right away, there’s a good chance he could’ve avoided having to wait longer to finally get some sort of resolution to his discomfort.

Key Points

Ask Questions!

Do you have any further questions about how you can access care by a physical therapist? Feel free to reach out to us and let us help you find a resolution to whatever you are dealing with! Stay tuned for more on these topics next week!

Happy Lifting!

Dr. Russ

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