The benefits of having direct access system in Colorado are numerous. First, direct access or self referral increases the efficiency of the system for the patient, providers, and for payers, resulting in less time off of work and decreased costs of seeing multiple healthcare providers, as well as decreased administrative costs. Seeing a physical therapist direct access for low back pain, for example, decreases the patient’s wait time to receive treatment and also decreases overall costs and burden to the healthcare system. Direct access care gives patients more control over their healthcare decisions. Studies also show that a majority of patients who self refer to physical therapy are more proactive with regards to their treatment and have greater satisfaction with their care.
While some insurance companies request a prescription from a Medical Doctor in order to provide payment for treatment, most do not. If you suspect you have a musculoskeletal injury, it is appropriate to make an appointment with your physical therapist. Your physical therapist can and should be the gateway into the healthcare system for musculoskeletal injuries and impairments. Direct access has been proven to be safe, result in higher patient satisfaction, better health outcomes and lower cost to the healthcare system.