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DIRECT ACCESS for Physical Therapy

Updated: Aug 12, 2022

What is DIRECT ACCESS? DIRECT ACCESS is receiving Physical Therapy (evaluation and treatment) without a physician referral or prescription.

Why this matters? By receiving PT first, this can help reduce delays for point of care service for patients with pain, functional impairments, and those who have interest in injury prevention or health promotion services. DIRECT ACCESS makes health care accessible, can reduce health care costs, and decrease time spent waiting for a referral.

Who can receive DIRECT ACCESS? DIRECT ACCESS Physical Therapy is for anyone seeking health care related services. This includes patients who would normally seek Physical Therapy for pain or difficulty with daily activities. This also includes people who are looking to prevent injuries such as receiving instruction on sitting ergonomics for a home office, prepping for an upcoming sporting event or athletic activity, preparing for long walks on a vacation, or performing child care activities. Other DIRECT ACCESS services include people who are looking to start or review a fitness program.

Does health insurance cover DIRECT ACCESS? Currently in Michigan, two health insurance providers, Aetna and Priority Health, cover DIRECT ACCESS for Physical Therapy. If you have another health insurance provider, you can choose to pay out of pocket for DIRECT ACCESS services.

How much PT can I receive with DIRECT ACCESS? Per Michigan State law, a patient must follow up with a physician after 10 treatments or 21 days, whichever comes first, to continue with Physical Therapy.

How do I get started? If you are dealing with pain, having difficulty with your day-to-day activities, looking to prevent injuries, or are interested in a fitness program, contact us here. We can schedule an initial evaluation with a licensed Physical Therapist, who will discuss a specific, individualized treatment plan tailored to your needs

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