Did you know that, thanks to Direct Access, you have control over how and where you you receive care? And the decision of which physical therapist you see is solely up to you and not your insurance company, employer or medical provider?
We’ve all been there before – did a little too much yard work, tried to keep up with the grandchildren, or performed a simple task and you experienced some sort of musculoskeletal injury. You suspect your injury isn’t serious enough to endure waiting hours to be seen in emergency room, but serious enough that you would like to see your primary care physician – if you can get an appointment – who you suspect will refer you to a physical therapist anyway. If you experience any musculoskeletal injury such as low back pain, ankle sprains, shoulder, neck or back strains, your physical therapist can be your go-to assess your injury, and either provide treatment or, if needed, refer you to the appropriate provider.
What is Direct Access?
Direct access is the ability of a physical therapist to provide evaluation and treatment to patients without the need for a physician referral. All 50 states plus the District of Columbia have some form of direct access. Here in Vermont, we have had unrestricted Direct Access since 1988.
What if my injury is not a musculoskeletal injury?
Physical Therapists are educated in differential diagnosis, which is the process of differentiating between two or more conditions that share similar signs or symptoms. If we suspect you have a condition that falls outside of our scope of practice or requires the attention of a physician, we will refer you to your physician and inform them of our findings and concerns. I like to tell people, “If I am not the person who has the solution to your problem, my job changes to guiding you to the provider who does.”
My doctor has referred me to another physical therapy clinic. Can I still come to Therapydia?
Yes! A referral to physical therapy is similar to a prescription your doctor writes for medication- you make the choice of where to have it filled. Some people choose to ask their doctor why they are being referred to a particular provider, while others simply go to the physical therapist they prefer without discussing it. The choice is entirely up to you.
I’ve never been to physical therapy before. How do I choose a physical therapist?
Aside from researching a physical therapy clinic and its therapists by visiting their website and reading online reviews, talking with the clinician and visiting the clinic are other excellent options. You will be able to quickly gauge the vibe of the clinic and whether your personality meshes with that of your prospective physical therapist. Finally, ask friends and family you trust about their experiences with physical therapy. Chances are high that someone you know has been to the therapist you are considering.
Educating yourself regarding all of the physical therapy options available, combined with asserting your right to choose your physical therapist, will likely produce a more successful and enjoyable physical therapy experience for you. Did you experience a musculoskeletal injury or have lingering chronic pain, call Therapydia Rutland today for a same day or next day appointment.