Texas residents have long been restricted with their access to the movement specialists of healthcare. You are currently required to have a referral source "sign off" on your plan of action that a physical therapist (the movement specialist of healthcare) establishes for your concerns. This does NOT mean you have to have someone recommend you go to physical therapy rather someone has to agree to be attached to you paper trail! However, many times this results in the notion that your referral office will require you to be seen prior to a having treatment rendered by a physical therapist. Texas ranks 47th out of 50 states in the US in the total volume of primary care physicians. What does that mean? A shortage!
So..... what's the problem?
The facts are this:
1. Texas and Missouri remain the ONLY two states to prevent you from receiving physical therapy without a referral. That's right 48 other states allow you to be seen AND treated by a physical therapist for any condition within our scope of practice.
2. This is not a new concept. Nebraska was the first to implement in unrestricted direct access to physical therapy without referral in 1957, a mere 62 years ago!
3. 18 US states have unrestricted access to physical therapy and 16 of those granted this level of access in the 1980s or prior!
4. The other 30 states to have direct access have favorable access for clients.
5. States that have made provisions to their access laws related to physical therapy have IMPROVED access not rescinded access rights for physical therapy.
6. The literature confirms that open/direct and early access to physical therapy has facilitated improved patient outcomes as well as afforded cost savings to beneficiaries.
7. Our neighbors Canada and Mexico both have direct access to physical therapy
8. Many countries around the world have access to physical therapy with Australia implementing in the 1970s.
This year Texas legislation will consider vote for House Bill 29 and Senate Bill 732 which have bipartisan support for direct access to physical therapy for Texas residents. Direct access is not a new concept nor a debate. If you want your voice heard on this subject matter then speak up.
The video in this report touches on this subject matter and lets you know how you can act.
Follow this link https://house.texas.gov/members/find-your-representative/ to locate your district representative and senator and let your voice be heard.
Thank you for your time,
The staff at Total Physical Therapy