No Script? No Problem!



What is Direct Access and Self-Referral?


Direct access and self-referral means that patients are able to refer themselves to a Physical Therapist without having to see a physician or other health professional.

Some key facts:

  • Direct access and self-referral puts patients in control of their care
  • Patients who refer themselves to physical therapy:
    • are more proactive
    • are more autonomous in making health decisions
    • take less time off work
    • return to work sooner
    • are more likely complete a course of treatment
    • are more interested in self-management
    • more satisfied with their care
  • Direct access and self-referral saves money through:
    • reducing costs of seeing other health professionals (e.g. general practitioners/family physicians)
    • less prescribing
    • less investigations
    • less secondary care
    • reducing costs to society (e.g. through time off work)
    • less administration costs
  • Direct access and self-referral does not lead to increased demands for services if they are adequately resourced
  • Direct access and self-referral is not just appropriate for musculoskeletal services but across other areas of physical therapy practice
  • Most insurances will still cover physical therapy under direct access and self-referral
    • Benefits/coverage will be verified prior to initial evaluation
    • If your insurance plan does not pay for services under Direct Access you have two choices:

1. You can obtain a referral/prescription from your physician.

2. You can also choose to pay out-of-pocket if you prefer not to see a physician. 

 Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I have a choice of my physical therapist?

As a Direct Access/self-referred patient, you will be evaluated by a licensed Physical Therapist who has practiced on a full-time basis in the United States for 3 years or more.

Are there any limitations on how many times I can be seen?

You can be treated by a licensed Physical Therapist without a referral/prescription for 10 visits OR 30 days, whichever comes first. If treatment will need to extend beyond these limitations, a prescription from your physician would be required.

What if I have additional questions or concerns about becoming a patient without a referral/prescription?

 Call the location that is most convenient for you and our friendly staff will be able to answer any questions you may have about the process.