Without direct access
- Patients may be forced to delay treatments.
- Simple injuries could turn into chronic pain.
- Underserved patients (seniors and people with disabilities from low-income and/or minority groups) may not be able to obtain or afford a required physician diagnosis to recieve physical therapy treatment.
With direct access
- Physical therapy treatment can be provided when it's needed to reduce pain, speed up recovery and improve quality of life.
Quicker and easier access to a physical therapist.
- Without direct access to physical therapist services patients must see a physician first to get a medical diagnosis before being treated by a physical therapist. This often results in delays in starting necessary treatment, especially if the patient has difficulties arranging a physician consultation or does not have a primary care provider.
- Diagnosis often are worded merely as "back pain" or "knee pain." Eliminating the need for a physician diagnosis eliminates an unnecessary barrier to treatment by a physical therapist.
Workers with routine back pain at Intel's plant in Oregon are "much happier" these days. Collaboration among Intel, two local health care systems, and a health insurer, reduced wait times to see a physical therapist from 19 days to 48 hours, reports. Intel workers are completing their treatment in 21 days, compared with 52 days in the past. The cost per patient has dropped 10% to 30% due to fewer unnecessary physician visits and diagnostic imaging tests. The workers also are "more satisfied and return to work faster."
- Source: USA Today
Greater access to physical therapists for underserved patients
- Seniors and people with disabilities from low-income and/or minority groups experience functional limitations and disabilities that contribute to decreased quality of life in disproportionate numbers compared with the population as a whole. With direct access to physical therapist services, a more responsive and readily accessible health care delivery model, these individuals are more likely to get necessary treatment from a physical therapist.
"Once the inefficiencies were mapped out on paper, the solution was clear to everyone... Put the physical therapy in front." 1
Read the full article.
1 Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2007.