Direct Access: Imagine a time when you didn’t feel well. Your body stiffened up causing lower back pain. Furthermore, your knee pain on the left hand side started up again.
“It must be my meniscus again”. After that, you know what has worked in the past.
You Know Your Body
Firstly, you have experienced these symptoms with your body for years. Ultimately, you know your body better than anyone. However, according to state law, one must go to a primary physician, or a specialist, before seeing a physical therapist. For instance, one goes to a physician and the physician prescribes physical therapy for a specific ailment or injury. Interestingly enough, most physicians do not have the education to determine body mechanics. Therefore, they do not have the capacity to diagnose a patient without appropriate tests. Some tests than can take place are x-rays, cat scans, or an MRI. Above all, a knowledgeable physical therapist is key to recovery.
The patient then has to go to the physical therapist in order to fulfill that prescription. More so, by law, the physical therapist must conduct an evaluation of each patient. Most of the time, a physical therapist can determine the state of injury with a few body mechanic tests. Patients do not always need to obtain additional diagnosis support. However, a physical therapist is able to order any additional diagnostic tests necessary.
LONGER WAIT TIME AND HIGHER COSTS
As we have said, Texans seeking treatment for pain are required to visit a doctor’s office for a referral. Therefore, this referral is for treatment from a physical therapist and/or a prescription for pain medication. However, patients have felt that this mandate is an unnecessary restriction. As you know, it increases wait time and costs. Studies have shown that patients that have to seek treatment with referral pay %123 more than those who don’t.
P3 Physical Therapy has worked with different organizations on patient behalf for direct access to care. More over, Dr. Parul Haribhai understood the importance of legislation to support patient rights. Therefore, January 8th marked the legislative session where Ina Mijarez filed a bill. The house bill is CSHB29 .
Furthermore, A Direct Access companion bill was filed in the Texas Senate. Senator Bryan Hughes filed SB732. It is identical to the bill in the house.
Please contact us for more information on direct access or to schedule an appointment starting in September 2019. You are entitled to being evaluated by a physical therapist for pain. Call us for a free pain screening.
Lastly, enclosed is the original Bill included in Legislation for Direct Access:
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
relating to the regulation of the practice of physical therapy.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTIONA1.AASection 453.301, Occupations Code, is amended to
read as follows:
PRACTICE BY PHYSICAL THERAPIST [TREATING
PATIENT UNDER PRIOR REFERRAL].
(a) A physical therapist may treat
a patient for an injury or condition in a manner described by
Section 453.005 without a [that was the subject of a prior] referral
if the physical therapist:
(1)AAhas been licensed to practice physical therapy for
at least one year;
(2)AAis covered by professional liability insurance in
the minimum amount required by board rule [notifies the referring
practitioner of the therapy not later than the fifth business day
after the date therapy is begun]; and
(A)AApossesses a doctoral degree in physical
(i)AAa program that is accredited by the
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education; or
(ii)AAan institution that is accredited by
an agency or association recognized by the United States secretary
of education; or
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Firstly, (B)AA has completed at least 30 hours of continuing
competence activities in the area of differential diagnosis.
Secondly, (a-1)AA Except as provided by Subsection (a-2), a physical
therapist may treat a patient under Subsection (a) [begins any
episode of treatment before the first anniversary of the referral
by the referring practitioner.
Thirdly, [(4)AA for physical therapy episodes subsequent to the
episode which was initiated by the referral, treats the patient]
for not more than 10 [20 treatment sessions or 30] consecutive
business [calendar] days[, whichever occurs first ; and
furthermore, [(5)AA satisfies any other requirement set by the
Furthermore, physical therapist who possesses a doctoral degree
described by Subsection (a)(3)(A) and has completed a residency or
fellowship may treat a patient under Subsection (a) for not more
than 15 consecutive business days.
Secondly, (b)AA The physical therapist must obtain a referral from a
referring practitioner before the physical
therapist may continue treatment that exceeds treatment authorized
under Subsection (a-1) or (a-2), as applicable [(a)(4)].
Thirdly, (c)AAA physical therapist who treats a patient without a
referral shall obtain from the patient a signed disclosure on a form
prescribed by the board in which the patient acknowledges that:
(1)AAphysical therapy is not a substitute for a medical
diagnosis by a physician;
(2)AAphysical therapy is not based on radiological
Therefore, 86R28887 MAW-F 2
(3)AAa physical therapist cannot diagnose an illness or
(4)AAthe patient ’s health insurance may not include
coverage for the physical therapist ’s services.
SECTIONA2.AASection 453.351(a), Occupations Code, is amended
to read as follows:
(a)AAThe board may deny a license or suspend or revoke a
license, place a license holder on probation, reprimand a license holder, impose an administrative penalty, or otherwise discipline a license holder if the applicant or license holder has:
(1)AAexcept as provided by Section [453.301 or]
453.302, provided care [physical therapy] to a person outside the scope of the physical therapist ’s practice [without a referral from a referring practitioner];
(2)AAused drugs or intoxicating liquors to an extent
that affects the license holder ’s or applicant ’s professional competence;
(3)AAbeen convicted of a felony, including a finding or
verdict of guilty, an admission of guilt, or a plea of nolo
contendere, in this state or in any other state or nation;
(4)AAobtained or attempted to obtain a license by fraud
(5)AAbeen grossly negligent in the practice of physical
therapy or in acting as a physical therapist assistant;
(6)AAbeen found to be mentally incompetent by a court;
(7)AApracticed physical therapy in a manner detrimental to the public health and welfare;
Therefore, 86R28887 MAW-F 3
(8)AAhad a license to practice physical therapy revoked
or suspended or had other disciplinary action taken against the
license holder or applicant;
(9)AAhad the license holder ’s or applicant ’s
application for a license refused, revoked, or suspended by the
proper licensing authority of another state or nation; or
(10)AAin the case of a physical therapist assistant,
treated a person other than under the direction of a physical
Also, not later than November 1, 2019, the Texas Board
of Physical Therapy Examiners shall adopt rules necessary to
implement Section 453.301, Occupations Code, as amended by this
Finally, Section 453.301(c), Occupations Code, as added
by this Act, applies only to treatment by a physical therapist that
is provided on or after November 1, 2019. In other words, treatment that is
provided before November 1, 2019, is governed by the law in effect
on the date the treatment was provided, and the former law is
continued in effect for that purpose.
Lastly, SECTIONA5.AA, this Act takes effect September 1, 2019.” In conclusion, contact us to help resolve your pain.