Until recently, Illinois and Texas were the only states that still required a person to obtain a doctor’s prescription for physical therapy. In August 2018, the State of Illinois passed a new law stating that physical therapists now have direct access. You can read the exact law here.
What does “direct access’ mean?
It means, a person can now see a physical therapist without a prescription from a doctor. This is great news for the people of Illinois, as it provides access to pain relief, wellness, and injury prevention and education much sooner than in the past. As a result, it cuts-down on unnecessary tests and medications.
As stated in Governor Bruce Rauner’s press release, “Physical therapy has been proven effective in treating joint pain and mobility issues. Seeing a physical therapist promptly and starting a rehabilitative course of treatment quickly can reduce or eliminate the need for potentially addictive pain medications, and can reduce overall health care costs. This legislation is a win for everyone.”
What does the law require?
The new law states that physical therapists are required to notify the patient’s primary care doctor within five days of treatment initiation. If, after three weeks, the patient has not made documented progress, then the physical therapist must send the patient to the appropriate practitioner for further examination and/or testing.
How does the new law affect patients of The Manual Touch?
As a patient of The Manual Touch Physical Therapy, here’s what you can expect with this new law in place:
- There will be no change to the quality of care you receive. You will continue to receive a thorough exam and treatment plan, and your health care team will continue to receive the necessary communication about your care.
- If you have medicare, however, you will still need a prescription to begin physical therapy, and have your plan of care signed off by your doctor.
As always, we are dedicated to the best healthcare for our patients and will continue to focus on the highest quality of care. If you are a patient, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns about the new law.
If you are just learning about physical therapy and would like to give it a try, it’s easier now than ever! Just give me a call at 847-541-7600.
I’m looking forward to meeting you.