Over the past several weeks, we’ve taken a look at some of the changes that have taken place in Colorado, with the new “Direct Access” law.
Physical therapists have long known that physical therapy offers many benefits, especially when it’s used early to treat pain and injury.
Studies have proven the benefits of physical therapy, and with the new laws in Colorado, physical therapy is more accessible than ever.
What is Direct Access?
To sum up Direct Access, it’s a new law that gives patients the freedom and right to seek therapy from physical therapists without needing to obtain a referral from their physician. The goal of this law is to help provide easier access to care, less-costly care, and improved outcomes.
Apta.org defines the Direct Access Law at the State Level:
” As of January 1, 2015, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands allow patients to seek some level of treatment from a licensed physical therapist without a prescription or referral from a physician. Jun 29, 2016″
How does this law benefit you?
Here’s a look at some of the benefits Direct Access to physical therapy offers patients.
Benefit #1 – No Need for a Referral
You no longer have to worry about getting a referral to see a physical therapist. Getting into your primary care physician to get a referral can take several weeks, and then you have to wait for the referral to go through. This delays your ability to receive the therapy you need. The new law allows you to skip the referral and head straight to a physical therapist so you don’t waste your time.
Benefit #2 – Lowers the Cost of Care
Direct Access also lowers the cost of care, not only for your insurance company, but for you. Each time you head into your primary care physician, you’re charged a co-pay. Since you don’t need that referral to see the physical therapist anymore, you’ll save money on co-pays. Your insurance company will save as well, since they don’t need to pay for a doctor’s visit that’s only to get a referral.
Benefit #3 – Enjoy Faster Healing and Less Pain
Physical therapy services work to help reduce pain, increase function, and improve overall quality of life. When you’re able to go to a physical therapist immediately, you’ll enjoy faster healing times and less pain. Direct Access eliminates the delay of treatment due to referrals and ensures you go on the fast track to pain relief and complete healing.
Benefit #4 – Studies Back It Up
The great news – studies back up the early use of physical therapy that’s now made possible by the new Colorado “Direct Access” law. Studies have found that early physical therapy treatments and services result in fewer spinal surgery, reduced need for pain medications, fewer medical imaging tests, and fewer visits to the doctor.
The new Direct Access law in Colorado offers many benefits, and it’s important to begin taking advantage of these benefits. If you’re dealing with back pain, other types of pain, or injuries, get into a physical therapist today to get on your way to less pain and faster healing.