Direct Access to Physical Therapy

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Direct Access to Physical Therapy

By Samuel Munie, PT, DPT, Clinic Manager
ApexNetwork Physical Therapy – Highland, IL clinic

What does this mean?

At ApexNetwork Physical Therapy, we are very excited about the recent legislation resulting in direct access to physical therapy for Illinois residents.  Should this matter to you? Should you be just as excited? The short answer is YES!! Let us explain a little about direct access and why it matters.

Maybe you hurt or aggravated an old back injury when you decided to try ice skating for the first time in 20 years this winter. Or maybe your knee hurts after the repetitious ladder climbs while creating a holiday display that’s the envy of the neighborhood. Whatever the cause or body part involved, sometimes it would be great to get it taken care of ASAP, right? Good news! Direct Access means that you no longer require an outside referral or prescription to attend physical therapy. This means you have can come to any Illinois ApexNetwork Physical Therapy location directly to receive care for any injury or pain and begin treatment immediately. *As an aside, direct access is also offered in many other states as well. If you want to learn more, we recommend visiting the American Physical Therapy Association’s website.

That’s great, but does it REALLY matter to me?

Here are just a few reasons why it does:

1. Early access/treatment saves you money! Without getting too technical, getting the right PT treatment within 2 weeks of the onset of low back pain can decrease the total cost of care by 50%! Immediate access to physical therapy treatment can eliminate the need for unnecessary and expensive treatments, such as medication, injections, imaging tests (X-ray, MRI, CT scan), and even surgery in some cases. When you schedule your first appointment at ApexNetwork PT, we will get you in quickly for an initial evaluation with a physical therapist. At your first visit, the PT will create a personalized treatment plan based on your evaluation and begin treatment the same day! We will also collaborate with your healthcare provider to ensure you’re getting the best care possible.

2. Direct Access = better outcomes and higher satisfaction for patients. This 2014 study suggests patients were more satisfied and had better outcomes at discharge when attending PT through direct access. Staying consistent with reason #1, these results are likely due to more rapid access to effective treatment and decreased healthcare costs!

3. Physical therapy is a safe, effective alternative to addictive opioids! In 2016, the CDC named physical therapy as a safe alternative to taking opioids to improve function and reduce pain. In general, opioids serve to mask pain, while physical therapists treat it! Physical therapists make a plan to treat the cause of your symptoms and achieve long-term results, including improved mobility and independence, decreased pain, and prevention of other health problems!

When it comes down to it, we want you to get the care you deserve. So whether that involves calling us directly for physical therapy or contacting your primary care provider, we hope you find relief and healing.

If you’re ready to schedule an appointment with ApexNetwork Physical Therapy, just find the location closest to you using our Location Search and give us a call! You can also click here to schedule an appointment online. In the meantime, take a look at our recent post “What to Expect at Your First Physical Therapy Visit” to learn a little more!

We look forward to hearing from you soon!