Need Physical Therapy? You Can Start Today.
On June 6th 2016, the Governor of Louisiana, signed a bill into law that allows people in the state to go to Physical Therapy without a prescription.
Why is this a good thing?
Patients can access care immediately. Before this law, patients who wanted to seek care for musculoskeletal problems, such as backaches, or sports injuries, would first have to make an appointment to see their doctor.
In some cases, the added expense and time caused people to delay or defer care. By allowing patients direct access to Physical Therapy, legislators have sped up access to needed care. Patients may now seek help earlier and get better results.
Is the type of treatment going to change?
Treatments will stay the same, the way people access treatment is changing. In the case of emergencies, major injuries or conditions requiring medication or surgery, patients will go to a physician or surgeon first. In the case of a minor injury or a recurrent/chronic condition, patients can now go straight to the Physical Therapist of their choosing. Some examples are a pulled muscle from doing yard work, a flare up of an old neck injury or a sprained ankle from playing sports. These conditions can be adequately and quickly treated with the intervention of a Physical Therapist. A thorough exam by a Physical Therapist can also help the patient identify problems that may need to be referred to a physician.
Should I to go to PT first?
You decide where to start, you can seek help by going to a physician or a Physical Therapist. Either provider can refer you to the other to implement the best plan of care. The only difference is that now people who need occasional assistance from physical therapy, or who have a long-term problem that benefits from periodic physical therapy care, can come directly to the Physical Therapist of their choice and get started immediately.
What kind of injuries will benefit from PT first?
Athletes: Elite and everyday athletes who get sprains and strains during practice can now go straight to a Physical Therapist for treatment and advice. Physical Therapists can also advise athletes on form and training to avoid future injuries.
Neurological and Balance Problems: Patients with diagnosed conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, Hemiplegia or Vertigo can now come to physical therapy as needed to help their condition.
Spinal Degeneration and Back Problems: Back problems are very common; individual patients have individual strategies for dealing with symptoms, one of which is Physical Therapy. Now people with back problems can come straight to physical therapy to get the care they need to get back on their feet
How do I sign up for Physical Therapy?
Just call Jones Physical Therapy and ask for an appointment.
Will insurance pay for this?
In most cases, yes. We will check with your insurance before starting treatment.
What about Medicare?
Medicare already allows 30 days of physical therapy treatment without an initial referral from a physician. The new law now brings State regulations into line with Federal rules. After 30 days if the patient is not sufficiently improved, then they will be referred to a physician.
If you are considering about how Physical Therapy can help you manage an injury, we invite you to stop by one of our Jones Physical Therapy offices in Hammond LA or Madisonville LA and chat with one of our licensed Physical Therapists.