Direct Access is Here for Texans
What does this mean?
It gives you more rights as a consumer to speak to and engage with our facility immediately. Most importantly we are able to intervene right away and help find answers to your questions. This prevents waiting for an appointment with another healthcare provider, paying for an office visit with other providers, or delaying your care simply to receive a confirmation to start physical therapy.
Is this a newer concept?
Absolutely NOT! In fact, access to physical therapy is determined at the state level. Each and every state (all 50!) in the USA, Washington D.C., and the US Virgin Islands have access to physical therapy. States have variable levels of access. This means some access is truly helpful for you, while other states have access that restricts you the consumer. Truth be told, Nebraska was the first state in the USA to adopt unrestricted access (meaning you have no limitations to your care) to physical therapy in 1957!
What is direct access?
This is terminology that simply means that you have the right
to be seen in our facility without a referral for physical therapy. You can easily call our facility at (806) 467-8181 and schedule an appointment.
What about the rest of the USA?
As of 2019, 40% of the USA (20 states) have unrestricted access to physical therapy. The majority of those states adopted that level of access in the 1980s or BEFORE! Our nation's capital even has excellent access for physical therapy. Washington D.C. grants the consumer the opportunity to seek services for an entire month. The only restriction for those residents... simply demonstrate reasonable progress. Sounds reasonable and logical to us!
Is it safe to receive physical therapy without referral?
In the US, physical therapy has been advancing rapidly since the 1940s. Worldwide the earliest documented origins of physical therapy fall back to 1813 with the father of Swedish gymnastics, Per Henrik Ling! Needless to say the profession has an extremely long track record and has progressed rapidly over the previous decades because of a deep focus in research and evidence based care. The level of education, training, and licensure requirements for all licensed therapists in the United States precede your comfort and confidence in seeking physical therapy. To date there have been numerous studies observing the safety of physical therapy when utilized independent of physician referral. These studies consistently demonstrate that there is no imminent threat to this approach and there have not been any legal actions taken against physical therapists regarding gross negligence to health and well being of the public. Lastly, there has never been a state that has rescinded access rights to physical therapists. Rest assured our profession's track record continues to demonstrate a safe, effective option for movement complications.
Fun Fact about our military and their family members
Did you know that the US military has granted unrestricted access to physical therapy for active duty and their families at military bases, military hospitals, and other military facilities? This has been standard practice in the military for over 50 years! Physical therapists in the military also have privileges to order diagnostic imaging/tests and prescribe some medications.
What is the level of education for a Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant?
All physical therapists complete a 4 year undergraduate curriculum to obtain a baccalaureate degree before seeking admission into a PT program. PT programs require an additional 3 years of expertise training in multiple areas of rehabilitation to specialize in movement and mobility based medicine. All recent graduates of a physical therapy program have achieved their Doctorate of Physical Therapy.
Physical Therapy Assistant degrees require 2 1/2 years of education to satisfy requirements set fourth by our National Physical Therapy Board to obtain their terminal degree. PTAs are not only specifically trained in rehabilitative medicine but equipped to carryout numerous tasks that are collaborated with a physical therapist.
How can I start Physical Therapy without imaging such as X-Rays, MRIs, CT scans?
This is a very common question and a very simple one to answer. The majority of client's that we see (either referred or not referred) have NOT received imaging prior to using our services. Imaging is not
a first line approach to the majority of conditions that we treat. Furthermore, physical therapists are trained to perform extensive examinations to identify movement complications. Movement complications are not always related to what can be viewed on a static image such as an XR, MRI, CT, etc. Lastly, your thorough examination with your therapist will help identify signs and symptoms that would warrant further communication with other healthcare providers including recommendation for further testing such as imaging.