Did you know you can see a Physical Therapist without a prescription? This is known as Direct Access and most states have some form of this benefit. Colorado has one of the most broad forms of direct access with almost all insurances paying for physical therapy without a Dr.’s prescription (Medicare requires a Dr.’s prescription).
Part of the reason Colorado has such a broad form of direct access is actually due to Colorado insurance companies. Several years ago they studied several measures of direct access and determined that they would save money by allowing direct access. This is actually a good thing for you. What they found was that it would decrease the number of total visits (MD, PT, etc.) you need and decrease the total time you need care for complete recovery. This also means faster access to care because of decreased time of scheduling with a physician, potentially trying medications first, potential imaging, then going back to the physician, getting a prescription for PT, and lastly calling and scheduling PT. Direct access allows you to get the care you need quickly leading to better results and decreased time in pain.
The insurance companies also found that the general public does a pretty good job deciding where to go for care (MD vs. PT). If Physical Therapy would not be appropriate for your condition, Physical Therapists are properly trained on what medical professional to refer you to for appropriate care. If you have questions on Direct Access give us a call and we will be glad to discuss it with you.
Jamie Bovay, DPT, CSCS
Atlas Physical Therapy