EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Anyone who injures themselves while out on a run or who just wants to see a physical therapist to reach their athletic goals can now just call and make an appointment.
Something El Pasoans haven’t been able to do before.
The Texas legislature passed HB 29 back in September, making Texas the 49th State to allow people to have direct access to physical therapists without having a referral from a physician.
“I think it’s great because now it’s just straight to the actual source rather than going to a doctor and having him refer you to somebody that you don’t know,” said Joshua Quijas.
Prior to the bill being passed local physical therapists, Dr. Pablo Estrada, said it would sometimes take months for a patient to get a referral and make an appointment.
“Typically they would go and see their family practitioner first then go see an orthopedic physician only to just find out yeah you need to go see a physical therapist,” Dr. Pablo Estrada an El Paso Physical Therapist.
It makes seeing a physical therapist more timely and also cost-effective because people no longer have to pay for an office visit with their primary care physician.
“If someone gets injured when their training and they know OK, I just twisted my ankle, or my knee pain from a previous injury is acting up. Now they can just come in straight to see me here and we can help them out,” said Estrada.
The bill allows people to see their physical therapist for 10 to 15 days with no referral. If they still have pain after that they would need to see their primary care physician.