Skip Navigation

Direct Access to Physical Therapy

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Direct Access to Physical TherapyFort HealthCare‘s outpatient physical therapy provides self-referral through direct access.

Physical therapy patients at Fort HealthCare can now self-refer for evaluation and treatment of common musculoskeletal conditions. This practice, called direct access, has been a law in the State of Wisconsin since 1987 and allows physical therapists to provide direct care.  Direct access is a safe and effective patient-care model that reduces health care costs through fewer visits, less management of medication and fewer radiology studies.

According to Kim McCrea, Director of Rehab at Fort HealthCare, “Our intent is to improve access to care for patients with common musculoskeletal complaints and encourage patient choice for entry into the healthcare system.”  Direct access gets patients started on therapy quicker, decreases cost of care and improves patient satisfaction. Because of this many insurance companies recognize and support direct access.  Presently at least 10 insurance companies will pay for direct access, including DeanCare, Fort Care, Unity and Physician’s Plus.  Medicare and Medicaid are among the plans that do not yet cover direct access. Patients are encouraged to check with their insurer to verify coverage.

We will continue the traditional physician-referral model as well. Patients should always check with their insurance company to understand their medical coverage. Therapy & Sport Centers have long appreciated excellent communication with providers, no matter what model of care delivery is used. We will continue the strong partnership with all providers. Direct access is good for the people of our community and will enhance patient outcomes and patient satisfaction.

If you are interested in scheduling a direct access appointment, call one of our Therapy & Sport Centers today.