A major focus of the ongoing healthcare debate is how to provide better care at a lower cost.
By providing early intervention, Direct Access offer patients the ability to receive timely treatment without having to wait to schedule doctor’s visits and tests. Although physical therapists do not medically diagnose patients, they are trained to identify warning signs if a patient does need to see a physician.
According to a study in the journal Health Services Research, “patients who visited a physical therapist directly for outpatient care had fewer visits and lower overall costs on average than those who were referred by a physician.”
Direct Access evaluation and some form of treatment is currently allowed in every state without the need for a physician referral with different regulations, guidelines and safety net requirements. In New Jersey, if a patient is not seeing improvement after 30 days of treatment they will be referred to another healthcare provider.
Direct Access offers a model of delivery that provides patients with the opportunity to receive the care they need in a safe and effective way, while lowering healthcare expenditures.