A bill that would allow patients direct access to a physical therapist rather than getting a doctor’s referral first heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. Doctor Amanda Brewer with the Louisiana Physical Therapy Association says this allows patients to able to get into physical therapy sooner and result in decreased cost for the patients and an increased quality of life.
“The type of access that Louisiana will hopefully have once the governor signs the bill is in line with what 43 other states in the rest of the country have.”
Opponents of the legislation believe therapists don’t have the training of a doctor and could miss diagnose a life threatening health problem. But Brewer says there has been extensive research showing direct access to a physical therapist isn’t dangerous.”
“There are numerous evidence based articles and research that supports that access to physical therapy without a referral is safe for the patient.”
The bill passed in the Senate on a 33 to 2 vote. Brewer says once this becomes law if you hurt yourself gardening or twist your ankle playing basketball, you can call your physical therapist and immediately begin treatment.
“So it’s a major time saver and money saver for the patient because they’re not having to go to a doctor, possibly be referred to another type of specialist, they can just go directly to their physical therapist.”