The "Direct Access Act" has been in place in the state of Connecticut since October 1, 2006. However, many patients are still unaware that they can seek physical therapy services without a prescription. Direct access eradicates the long wait times and unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses by eliminating unnecessary tests and specialist referrals. According to a study by Health Services Research, total health care costs for patients who had early access to physical therapy were less than half the total costs paid by those who waited three months to a year to visit a PT.
Managing acute symptoms when they first happen leads to quicker healing and less time in pain. Delays in care result in decreased functional outcomes and frustration to patients seeking physical therapy treatment. Through Direct Access, a patient can attend up to six physical therapy sessions over a thirty-day period. If the patient does not show improvement in any 30-day consecutive period or at the end of six visits of physical therapy, whichever occurs sooner, then the patient needs to be evaluated by a qualified physician or provider. If the patient is improving with physical therapy, then they can continue to attend without their provider's evaluation.
There are also guidelines and restrictions* for direct access to physical therapy treatments in Connecticut, which include:
- Workers' compensation
- Liability cases
- Medicare: Physical therapists in Connecticut can perform initial evaluations and treatments. However, the patient must show progress in recovery within 9 visits for Medicare to cover direct access. Our therapists also send your initial evaluation to your physician to update your plan of care and, if necessary, would act as your prescription.
Contact our offices to set up an appointment today to get rid of that acute pain before it impedes your lifestyle.