Direct Access to Physical Therapy is Here – No Prescription Required

Illinois is now the 27th state to allow direct access to physical therapy, thanks to a legislative change that came into effect on August 16, 2018. Patients can now skip the doctor and head straight to an Illinois-licensed physical therapist for evaluation and treatment, without the need for a prescription or referral.

Physicians Immediate Care is pleased to be able to welcome Illinois physical therapy patients directly as a result of the new law. Using non-invasive, non-addictive methods such as massage, heat treatment and guided exercise, physical therapy can reduce pain and treat certain diseases, injuries and deformities. Direct access to this treatment is expected to save patients money, free up appointment times for specialists and other healthcare providers, and help prevent unnecessary side-effects from diagnostic procedures and medications, including opioid pain medications.

Here are a few things you should know about direct access:

Health Plan Coverage

Before you come in, it is important to check that your health plan covers direct access to physical therapy. While the law allows healthcare policies to cover direct access, it is not a requirement; some policies may still require a referral in order for your visit to be covered.

Relationship with Other Healthcare Professionals

While direct access eliminates the need for a doctor’s referral, the relationship between your physical therapist and your other healthcare professionals is protected, so that your entire healthcare team is kept up-to-date with your treatment, as necessary.

The first time you visit a physical therapist for any particular injury or ailment, your physical therapist is required to notify your healthcare professional within five business days. We will also refer you to a healthcare professional when it is suspected that you may require additional care or a different type of care for your condition. As always, our physical therapists will refer you to a specialist if you need to see another healthcare professional. This way, you will receive the right care from the start.

When You Should See a Physical Therapist

If you have pain or discomfort that makes it hard to perform your daily activities, chronic pain is stopping you from doing the activities you enjoy, or you have an acute injury such as a sprain or pain in your body, you may benefit from a physical therapy evaluation.

Many conditions can be improved with the help of physical therapy. Using a variety of treatment methods, physical therapy can help restore flexibility, range of motion, strength, endurance and balance after a physical trauma or illness. Through at-home programs and advice, our physical therapists can also help you reduce the risk of injury, and manage chronic health conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Booking Your Appointment

To see a physical therapist, find a clinic that offers Physical Therapy near you and call to book your appointment with Physicians Immediate Care today. We look forward to delivering the quality care you deserve.