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Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Physiotherapist and Research Scholar, ESIC Model Hospital & PG Research Institute- ESICPGIMSR (Under Govt of India),Rajaji Nagar, Bangalore and General Secretary of Bangalore Physiotherapist Network (BPN) 2017-2020

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3 Jan 2015

USA: Now Florida & Michigan Law in December 2014 Allows Direct Access to Physical Therapy along with the other 48 States in USA:

USA: Florida & Michigan Law Allows Direct Access to Physical Therapy:

A doctor's prescription will no longer be needed to go to physical therapy in Michigan & Florida. People will be able to receive treatment for 21 days or 10 treatments, whichever comes first, without a prescription. Or they can go for an unlimited number of visits if it's to prevent injury or promote fitness. Health insurers won't have to cover physical therapy services if a prescription isn't issued.

What does patient access to physical therapists' services without referral mean and why is it needed?

Patient access to physical therapists' services without referral means the removal of the physician referral mandated by state law to access physical therapists' services for evaluation and treatment. Till now, in USA Forty-eight (48) states and the District of Columbia allow for evaluation and some form of treatment without physician referral. Some states have time or visit limits or provisions tied to treatment without a referral. Till recently, a referral is required by state law to initiate treatment by a licensed physical therapist in 2 states: Michigan and Oklahoma. Michigan and Oklahoma allow for evaluation without referral, but not treatment.

Supporters say allowing direct access to physical therapy will bring Michigan in line with 48 other states and expand consumer choice, prevent delays, contain medical costs and lead to better patient outcomes.

Jeffery Regan, head of the Physical Therapy department at Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan was working inside a busy therapy room Wednesday as many patients, their insurance deductibles having already been met, worked to squeeze in one more visit before the insurance clock reset.
Regan says the new law is a baby step."I think it's a great step in a positive direction for all patients," he adds.

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News update by Physiotherapy Jobs Portal: www.physiotherapyjobs.co.in


  1. I think this is a wrong step becuase physiotherapist is uncapable to diagnose diseases and injuries need therapy, that's why a referral physician is important to avoid misdiagnosis or overdiagnosis or underdiagnosis

  2. Documentation about Physiotherapy in the Thirty-First report on Paramedical and Physiotherapy Central Councils Bill-2007 (Presented to the Rajya Sabha on 21st October,2008 and laid on the table of Lok Sabha on 21stOctober,2008):

    Clause 8.2 “Physiotherapy being considered a discipline distinct from paramedical disciplines finds a specific mention in the title (Paramedical and Physiotherapy Central Councils Act, 2007)”

    Clause 9.36 Committee’s attention was also drawn to the parallel position of Naturopathy and Yoga when compared with physiotherapy as both were based on physical and psycho-somatic methods of diagnosis and treatment, with both claiming benefit to the patients in a drugless manner. It was argued that both Naturopathy and Yoga are granted equal status along with Ayurveda underAYUSH. Thus, physiotherapy also deserved to be granted an independent status.

    Clause 9.46 “The fact that physiotherapy education over the years has made significant advancements and has evolved as a distinct profession seems to be well established. This is strengthened by the considered opinion of Ministry of Law that physiotherapy profession should not be equated with the paramedical professions”

    Clause 9.47 “The Committee also takes note of the fact as mentioned by the representative of the Ministry that in USA, physiotherapy profession has reached a stage where these professionals can practise independently. Not only this, in some of the international Acts, it has been specifically provided that physiotherapists having the required experience can give physiotherapy treatment without a referral. These Acts also confer upon a physiotherapist the right to practise with or without referral governed by the circumstances of the case.”

    Clause 25.5 During the course of interactions, the Committee observed that there was a lot of dissatisfaction among the allied health professionals particularly physiotherapists and occupational therapists with regard to their pay scales. It was brought to the notice of the Committee that their entry into Government service after completion of four and a half years degree course in the respective profession was not being addressed properly. The Committee was given to understand that their recurrent demands for bringing parity in the pay scales have yielded no results so far. General perception was that discriminatory treatment was being meted out to them as their pay scales did not commensurate with their status and responsibility.

    Clause 25.6 The Committee feels that all the allied health professionals including physiotherapists and occupational therapists play a crucial role in the field of medicine and physical rehabilitation. The Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that their legitimate interests should be taken care of and their existing pay structure may be revised according to their qualifications and duration of the course they have to put in before entering into a Govt. job.
    The findings and documentation of this committee are in favour strong of an independent status and council for Physiotherapists.

  3. This is a very sincere step in the right direction. Physiotherapists are well equipped in diagnosis and treatment of cases amenable to physiotherapy