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Direct Access

Harter Physical Therapy

Direct access is the ability to see a healthcare provider directly without first going to see a family/primary care physician for a referral. At Harter Physical Therapy, we have direct access, which means that by law no referral is required in order for us to evaluate and provide physical therapy treatment to our patients.

Our expert doctors of physical therapy possess the clinical expertise and tools to provide a physical therapy diagnosis and an accurate prognosis, to determine whether you will benefit from a skilled physical therapy intervention. If we determine that physical therapy will not improve your condition, we will refer you to a healthcare professional with the tools to do so.

We recognize that physical therapy represents a small branch in the healthcare sector, and we strongly believe that a multidisciplinary approach to healthcare is the only way to achieve patient-centered care.

Direct access to physical therapy is a more recent event in the United States, however in international healthcare models physical therapists have successfully managed direct access for decades. Recent research articles have demonstrated the effectiveness of the physical therapy-based direct access care model.

Harter Physical Therapy

One research article, Direct access compared with referred physical therapy episodes of care: a systematic review examined the difference in referred physical therapy (physical therapy with a physician referral) and direct access physical therapy models. The article found that the physical therapy direct access care model provided superior outcomes as well as an overall decrease in total number of physical therapy visits, imaging orders, medications prescribed, and non-physical therapy provider appointments attended.

The article concluded that direct-access physical therapy is associated with improved patient outcomes and decreased costs when compared to referred care and that it “may contain healthcare costs and promote high-quality health care. Third-party payers should consider paying for physical therapy by direct access to decrease health care costs and incentivize optimal patient outcomes."

Although by law we have direct access and can evaluate and treat patients, some insurance plans may still require obtaining a physician’s referral before beginning physical therapy. If you do not have insurance or are not interested in having your insurance claim submitted to cover your physical therapy services, we have a convenient self-pay option available without a referral.

Questions about direct access? Please call our Goddard, Kansas office today at (316) 550-6132.

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