One step closer to seeing a Physical Therapist without stopping at your physician’s office first!

Some may know that physical therapists in CA have been fighting hard to pass a new bill to allow physical therapists to see patients without requiring patients to go see their physician first for a diagnosis.

We had some bumps along the way with past bills being rejected in various levels of the legislation ladder, but we finally got some progress last week!!! We had a bill that was almost going to go through to the next step, but was stopped because of some changes that would have still made it a requirement for patients to see their doc, but those changes were removed and now we can move forward with this bill to hopefully get direct access soon!

For people who are wondering, what this whole “direct access” issue is, here’s a link to info for consumers from CPTA’s site:

What is consumer direct access to physical therapists?
— Legislation that will allow Californians the opportunity to directly access licensed California physical therapists.
— Legislation that, when passed and signed into law, will allow licensed California physical therapists to practice what they are already trained and educated to do.

What are the benefits of direct access to patients and consumers?
— Consumers will no longer have to wait to seek treatment or pay a doctor first to get permission to see a physical therapist.
— Patients will be able to directly access their physical therapists for examinations, evaluations, impairment classifications and treatment.
— With direct access, you will see a physical therapist sooner, which will lead to quicker pain relief or recovery.

Are physical therapists qualified to treat patients, particularly when it comes to injuries that have systemic consequences affecting the whole body?
— Physical therapists are qualified to classify movement impairments and treat and manage a wide range of conditions affecting a person’s mechanical, physiological and developmental movement related to impairments, functional limitations and disabilities.
— All physical therapists must be licensed by the Physical Therapy Board of California.
— To become licensed, physical therapists must graduate from a physical therapy program accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education.
Since January 2003, only physical therapy programs at the master’s and doctoral level are considered for accreditation.
— Of the 193 accredited physical therapist education programs in the United States, 14 are located in California. Nine of the California programs award the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree and five of the California programs award a Master’s degree, two of which provide a one-year continuation option leading to the DPT.
— U.S. accredited schools of physical therapy have required all physical therapy students since 1985 to undergo the education and clinical training necessary to treat patients without a referral even though as health care professionals in California they are prevented from practicing those skills for which they are educated and trained.

What is the difference between a physical therapist compared to a chiropractor, fitness trainer, sports therapist, masseuse, rehabilitation specialist, health and wellness expert and the like?
— There are distinct differences in each of the professions in terms of education, training and the provision of services to patients. Each profession complements one another and is an asset to all Californians needing relief from pain, injury, impairments, and stress.
— The decision about which practitioner to choose lies in the health care history of each patient, the extent of injury or pain (physical or mental), and the range of treatment and rehabilitation therapy needed to meet the needs of the individual patient.
— Physical therapists undergo rigorous training and education and are competent to develop a plan of therapeutic intervention and treatment for patients with mechanical, physiological and developmental movement-related impairments, functional limitations and disabilities or other health and movement related conditions. Physical therapy is the art and science of physical or corrective rehabilitation or of physical or corrective treatment of any bodily
What can I do to support direct access?
— Call and write letters to your state Senator and Assembly member asking them to support consumer direct access.

To find your representatives and their contact information, visit the following Web

anyone have any thoughts/concerns/questions regarding direct access to PT?

Categories: PT Politics

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