Many New Jersey residents have never heard of direct access to physical therapy, but there is a law in place that can help you, family members and friends get treated by a physical therapist right away.
What is Direct Access?
Direct access is a law that allows patients to have an evaluation and seek treatment from a physical therapist without a prescription or referral from a physician, dentist, podiatrist or nurse practitioner.
Why utilize direct access?
Direct access gets you treatment sooner! If you strained your low back lifting heavy boxes, sprained your ankle playing soccer or just want a tune-up for a chronic neck problem, you can come see us right away! You do not have to wait to get an appointment with your physician or orthopedist which could take weeks, resulting in missing out on physical therapy treatment that can decrease your pain, improve your mobility and get you back doing what you want to do.
Will my insurance cover my PT sessions under direct access?
Many insurance companies cover direct access for physical therapy. Before your first visit, Trinity Rehab will will call your insurance company to confirm that you are covered under direct access. If your plan requires a PT referral or prescription, that will be clearly communicated to you prior to your initial visit.
What are the New Jersey State laws for direct access?
Since 2003, New Jersey allows physical therapists to treat patients without a referral for up to 30 days. Direct Access laws state that a patient must be referred to a physician after 30 days if they are not making reasonable and customary progress, however each physical therapy organization may have individual policies and procedures regarding when a prescription may be required. Trinity Rehab notifies their patients regarding if and when a prescription or referral is necessary.
I have Medicare as my primary insurance, can I use Direct Access?
Medicare beneficiaries can go directly to physical therapists without a referral or visit to a physician, although it is strongly recommended. The plan of care developed by the PT must be certified by a physician or nonphysician practitioner (NPP) within 30 days of the initial therapy visit.
To find out more information, call your local Trinity Rehab!