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  • 2880 US Highway 9, Suite 1, Valatie, NY 12184
  • P: (518) 758-6070
  • F: (518) 758-6379
  • Monday 7:30am-5:30pm
    Tuesday 7:30am-5:30pm
    Wednesday 7:30am-5:30pm
    Thursday 7:30am-5:30pm
    Friday 8:00am-12:30pm
    Saturday Closed

What is direct access to physical therapy?

Access Physical Therapy & Wellness would like to bring to your attention an option for physical therapy treatment that you may not be aware of: direct access.

Direct access offers patients the ability to go to physical therapy without a prescription from their primary care physician. It allows you to receive treatment for your musculoskeletal and neurological injuries and pains from a highly trained physical therapist, in a timely fashion.

You may be concerned that bypassing your physician is unwise for your health, but that is not true. Today’s physical therapists are doctorate-level medical professionals whose training and education make them more than qualified to not only conduct initial evaluations, but also to recognize when a patient’s medical needs fall outside of their practice scope. Access regards our responsibility to protect your health, safety, and welfare to the highest degree.

Connecticut, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania all allow direct access to physical therapy with some provisions. In fact, every state and the District of Columbia have direct access laws. And with morning, evening, and weekend hours at many of our 50+ locations, you can be sure that your first visit to Access will be quick and convenient.

Speedy treatment is a critical factor for recovering from many injuries or pains. Unfortunately, because of high co-pays and deductibles, or even a lack of insurance, many people will avoid getting their condition looked at by a professional. Only when their injury disrupts their daily life do they make a phone call to their doctor’s office. However, an appointment with your physician is often only available weeks later, letting the situation worsen.

The purpose of direct access is to expedite this process and allow a physical therapist to properly treat patients. In addition, a visit to the doctor’s may result in X-rays and prescriptions for pain relievers that do not tackle a patient’s ailment directly. Your doctor, after a lengthy period of time, may even end up referring you to physical therapy anyway. If you go to physical therapy first, you can save hundreds of dollars on care and start to feel better sooner. Additionally, physical therapy provides a more holistic overview and can identify the root cause of the problem as well as secondary impacts. Direct access promotes individual choice in health care decisions by eliminating burdensome regulation.

We must emphasize though that Access Physical Therapy & Wellness will work with your doctor and share medical information, status updates, and schedule follow-ups. The ultimate goal of physical therapists and primary care physicians is working together to heal you, the patient.