Indiana House Bill 1034, which became law on July 1, 2013, was the first law that provided Indiana patients direct access to physical therapy. On May 1, 2019, Governor Holcomb signed SB 586 into law. This law superseded Bill 1034 and improved the direct access provisions. It went into effect on July 1, 2019. Under SB 586, you can now be evaluated and treated by a physical therapist for up to 42 calendar days without a referral from your provider (physician, podiatrist, psychologist, chiropractor, dentist, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant). After the 42-day period, the PT must obtain a referral from your authorized provider to continue your treatment.
What is Direct Access?
Direct access means that the physician referral mandated by state law to access a physical therapist for evaluation and treatment has been lifted. Delays in care result in higher costs, decreased functional outcomes, and frustration to patients seeking physical therapy treatment. Eliminating the referral requirement makes health care more accessible to more people, which results in timely, more effective care.
Many conditions are successfully treated by hands-on manual therapy and individualized exercise programs provided by your physical therapist. Painful and expensive surgeries may be put off and sometimes even eradicated altogether. Plus, physical therapy has been known to reduce and sometimes even eliminate the need for dangerously addictive painkillers. Physical therapists are also highly trained in identifying conditions that might need further evaluation or medical treatment and can include primary care physicians when needed.
What are some of the benefits of Direct Access?
Direct Access to Indiana Physical Therapists provides many benefits, including but not limited to:
- Much quicker access to the treatment you need and deserve.
- Cost savings - while each patient case is different, clinical research shows that Direct Access typically saves you money.
- Thorough evaluation - physical therapy visits last 30-60 minutes so your condition is thoroughly evaluated.
- Fewer overall treatment sessions - in many cases, seeing a physical therapist first, will result in fewer overall treatment sessions.
While Indiana patients now have direct access, some insurance companies still require a physician referral. Our trained insurance verification staff works with insurance companies to determine the requirements for each patient. Please contact us for more information.