2023 was FINALLY the year that Missouri granted direct access to physical therapy services. It is about time! The access is still limited (annoying, we know), and we wanted to share what this means for you and how you can access care in the most efficient and helpful way!
What is direct access?
Direct access is the removal of the physician referral mandated by state law to access physical therapist services for evaluation and treatment.
How does direct access work in Missouri?
As of August 28, 2023, you are now able to see a physical therapist for evaluation and treatment without a referral from a physician or other referring provider. However, you must obtain a referral for continuation of services after 10 visits or 30 days, whichever comes first.
What does this mean for you?
If you are in pain or having an issue, call us and we can get you in ASAP! You will work with your doctor of physical therapy to determine the best plan of action. Once we complete your initial evaluation, we will help you with the referral process if we think your care will extend beyond 10 visits or 30 days. The best part of direct access is we can now get you in quicker and get you out of pain without wasting time and money trying to get into a physician first!
How do our patients benefit from direct access in Missouri?
1. QUICKER ACCESS TO CARE
Average time to get in to see a primary care physician is 24 days, while average time to get in to a physical therapist’s office is 2-3 days.
2. DECREASED COST & SAVED TIME
Direct access to physical therapy resulted in 1.01 fewer physical therapy visits per person, $266 less in physical therapy costs per patient on average, and $2002 less total healthcare cost per patient on average.
3. SUPERIOR OUTCOMES
Patients who had direct access to physical therapists reported greater improvements in less time with no adverse effects reported.
4. PATIENTS FIRST: YOUR CHOICE!
The MOST important piece of direct access is that YOU get to choose what care you receive and YOU take control over your active life. It makes little sense that we have the choice to book sessions with a massage therapist or personal trainer, yet there were multiple barriers to seeing a physical therapist until August 2023. We are so relieved this has changed!