Proposed Bill Would Allow Direct Access to Physical Therapists


POSTED: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 5:39pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 6:44pm

Some Texas physical therapists like Tom Waugh say they want direct access to their patients.

A proposed bill could give physical therapists access to their patients without any barriers.

Currently, patients who live in Texas cannot access a physical therapist without a prior referral.

The president of the Texas Physical Therapy Association, Cynthia Fisher, says that physicians, dentists and chiropractors are just some of the professionals allowed to determine if patients need physical therapy.

"The benefit of this bill would be that instead of just being able to evaluate, I could begin treatment on the first visit. Which today, I cannot do," Fisher said.

"Time is a big factor with us. The sooner I can get to the patient the better off I'm going to be as far as getting them better, quicker," Waugh said.

Seventeen states currently do not require referrals.

The Texas Physical Therapy Association says none of those states have experienced an increase in liability claims.

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