Fortunately, for people who live in the great state of Texas, accessing relief from pain through physical therapy has become easier than ever before. As of September, 2019, Texans can visit a physical therapist for treatment without a physician’s referral. This new “Direct Access” bill, HB 29, offically made Texas the 49th state to pass direct access legislation.
Physical therapists, until now, were only able to evaluate patients without treating them unless prior authorization of a physician was issued. This law has removed this time consuming barrier, allowing patients to bypass the long waiting periods and costly and unnecessary physician visits and go directly to the physical therapist of their choice.
Many physical therapists in clinics across the state have waited patiently to be able to provide patients direct access to the care that they need, having worked diligently to give their patients more power and greater choice. Understanding that many of their patients who seek physical therapy as a first point of care will have an 89 percent lower possibility of being prescribed an opioid as opposed to those who see a physician, physical therapists hail the new law as a literal life saver.
With pain management strategies that carry proven success without harmful use of pain medications, physical therapists are expanding their practices to meet the needs of a growing number of patients. People who seek treatment through physical therapy can expect to receive high standards of care without the hassle of seeing their primary physician first.
This new law cuts down long waits and the unnecessary out of pocket expenses at a doctor’s office and to insurance agencies. Liberating people from the bondage of setting, attending, and paying for multiple appointments, physical therapy can be accessed just by picking up the phone.
Studies have shown that physical therapy may often be as effective as surgery for providing pain relief, making direct access to this form of care a critical component in diverting people from sometimes unnecessary surgical procedures. Since physical therapy is non-invasive, many patients are able to continue working or return to work faster than they would if they had to recuperate from an invasive procedure.
This new law in Texas will allow people to access the most conservative approach to care possible, giving the patient more control over their health and medical choices. Cutting out the unnecessary prior approval from physicians ensures that people are receiving quality care they need in a timely and cost effective manner. If you have been putting off seaking treatment for pain or other health issues, now is the time to contact Pure Physical Therapy for consultation and treatment planning. Access to physical therapy is easier than ever before, don’t put off healing your pain any longer.