Why do I need a physician's referral?

Many people have stopped by the clinic and asked for an appointment to see me because they have back pain after working in the yard or an ankle sprain after playing softball over the week-end. However, when my office staff asks them who their physician is that referred them, they answer that they didn’t realize they needed a referral.

Did you know that Indiana is the last state in the country that will not allow you to see a physical therapist without a referral from a physician? That is, physical therapists do not have “Direct Access” to potential patients. Despite our attempts to lobby the state legislators for your ability to see us, at least for your initial evaluation, without first seeing a physician we have been blocked by other interest groups over and over again.

This has been a frustrating issue for therapists all over the state. We believe patients would be getting more prompt care and get better more quickly if we were able to see them as soon as they needed it.

What do you think? 

Comments

Direct Access (DA)

Of course some time has passed since we posted our last comment on direct access. Fortunately, since the middle of last year patients in Indiana now have the right to see a physical therapist without a physicians order. This means that legally we can treat any patient for three weeks without the formal request from a physician. Should further treatment be needed beyond three weeks we will need to obtain an official order from your physician to continued your treatment regimen. Of course we will always screen you initially for the possible need for further diagnostic work-up (MRI, X-Rays, Scan etc.) and then make the appropriate referral. So, feel free to give us a call at 260.484.9491 and schedule your appointment for all your musculoskeletal needs.