Direct Access to Physical Therapy Means Faster Recovery

Patient Experience

Oct 3, 2018

Did you know you can be seen by a physical therapist without a referral? Direct Access is a law in Florida that allows you to see a physical therapist for up to 30 days without first getting a referral from your physician. This allows you to begin physical therapy (PT) sooner, which can speed up your recovery and decrease your spending on healthcare costs. After an MRI revealed Trent McKay had deteriorated discs in his neck, his physician gave him a choice for his neck and shoulder pain. He could use pain medications, go through a surgery or get a referral for PT. Trent chose PT at Brooks Rehabilitation in Fleming Island and was so thankful he did. His pain improved after a few weeks. “They even helped with the tingling and numbness. I never thought that would go away, but it did,” said Trent.

About six months later, Trent’s other shoulder began to hurt. He was having difficulty lifting heavy equipment at work. He couldn’t throw a baseball with his son and was having trouble sleeping because of the pain. Luckily, Trent remembered his Brooks therapist telling him about Direct Access. He called to schedule a PT appointment without a referral from his physician. Tara Vollertsen, PT, MPT, OCS utilized clinical tests and a thorough medical screen to detect a problem with Trent’s rotator cuff. She provided joint mobilizations and instructed Trent in targeted strengthening to help with the pain. After four visits, Trent’s shoulder felt fine. “I appreciated being able to get in here quickly and get treated without the time and extra costs of going to my doctor first. He would have sent me here anyway,” Trent said. PT can help with a variety of conditions from neck pain to an ankle sprain. A physical therapist is trained to accurately identify the problem as musculoskeletal and begin treatment, or refer you to a physician if medical care is indicated. Services will be covered by your insurance the same as if you received a referral. Now there is no need to delay the care you need. If you have a new or chronic condition and think that physical therapy can help, call us at 904-345-7277 to schedule an evaluation at one of our more than 30 outpatient clinics.

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