Be Fit Responds to Illinois Direct Access Law
DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., August 27, 2018—It's good for patients to advocate for themselves and to be aware of the laws that affect insurance and healthcare professionals.
One law, the Illinois Physical Therapy Act, was amended on August 16th to update a key principle that impacts patient well-being. The principle, direct access, now means that patients can go straight to a physical therapy clinic to get treatment without a referral, and the ramifications of this are significant.
- Better recovery. A pillar of physical therapy is restoring movement to injured limbs. Seeing a physical therapist first promotes rapid remobilization following injury, which is positively associated with better outcomes.
- Fighting opioid addiction. Another pillar of physical therapy is pain reduction. Direct access to physical therapists allows patients to experience pain relief from manual interventions such as massage and laser therapy before relying on pain killers for long-term pain management. Additionally, exercises prescribed for home also help to manage pain.
- Lowered costs all-around. According to the Illinois Physical Therapists Association, patients save up to 80 percent on out-of-pocket costs when there is direct access, and the healthcare system as a whole saves 30 percent of overall costs. Illinois is the 45th state to allow complete direct access to physical therapy.
Keep these pointers above in mind. It's completely understandable that patients will go for therapy where their doctors send them, or that they will take pain medications as prescribed. However, think of PT as the noninvasive alternative to health and wellness, and remember that you have choices.
More reading: Physical and Financial Advantages of Not Ignoring Pain.