Direct Patient Access: Physical Therapy Without a Physician Referral.
Maybe you woke up with a kink in your neck. Or have nagging knee pain every time you run more than a mile. Perhaps you’ve been dealing with low back pain for years and have never tried physical therapy. If you’re interested in physical therapy but don’t want to go through the hoops and expense of going to a doctor first, direct access could be for you. It removes barriers, saves money and may even improve your outcome.
In a Nutshell, What is Direct Access?
Direct Access is the ability to see a physical therapist without first obtaining a referral from a physician. As of 2015, 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Virgin Islands have some form of direct access. View a map of the states.
Why Choose CORA?
While not every insurance company pays for physical therapy without a referral, everyone is eligible for a 10- to 15-minute complimentary screening at a CORA clinic. Because all of CORA’s 250+ physical therapy clinics have a direct access policy, it’s easy to find convenient treatment, which often begins the very same day.
During this initial evaluation, our trained therapists will determine whether you are a good candidate for physical therapy and explain the next steps, which might include traditional therapy, a recommendation for a specialized cash-pay program such as Astym therapy or AlterG, or referral to a physician for a more serious condition. Your PT can explain what is covered under your insurance policy, and if you don’t have insurance, we offer affordable self-pay rates.
We encourage patients to come by one of our clinics or set up an appointment, even without a doctor’s referral. And if it turns out you need a doctor but don’t have one, we have great relationships with many specialized practitioners in the communities we serve and can help you connect to a trusted physician.
Removing Barriers to Physical Therapy
Saves Time. Instead of spending time on the phone or in a waiting room to arrange a referral, you can call CORA directly to set up an appointment, or even walk into one of our conveniently located clinics. Studies show that direct-access therapy services result in fewer general practitioner visits and hospital admissions than those arranged via physician referral.
Saves Money. Direct access may lower the cost of health care for the patient because it eliminates the need for a doctor’s visit to obtain a referral. Studies have also found that when a patient receives physical therapy services first, it decreases the need for costly imaging and medications.
Speeds Up Recovery. Through direct access, patients can experience less pain and a faster recovery. Research indicates that direct access patients generally have better outcomes at discharge and achieve it in fewer visits than those referred by physicians. Patients also report a higher degree of satisfaction with therapy through direct access.
While the guidelines for direct access vary according to state law, our knowledgeable intake personnel can verify benefits and explain direct access as it relates to your insurance. Most insurance plans, including Medicare, now honor some form of direct access. Co-payments for treatment still apply, but the initial screening is always complimentary.
Direct Access Gets You in the Door
When you come by or contact a CORA clinic in your area, we can explain more about direct access, the benefits of physical therapy, and the services that our clinics offer. We have locations across Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri. Book your appointment today.