PATIENTS NOW HAVE DIRECT ACCESS TO PHYSICAL THERAPY
Effective January 1, 2014, California law (AB 1000) allows limited direct access of the public to a physical therapist. That means a patient may contact and see us directly without having first seen a physician. The law stipulates that if the patient's ailment has not been resolved within 45 days or 12 visits, whichever comes first, the therapist must refer the patient to a medical physician. It is our intent to refer immediately any patient who upon initial evaluation demonstrates symptoms warranting further diagnostics.
The intent of the law is to allow early access for physical medicine problems in an attempt to shorten the care required when conditions are addressed promptly. California was one of the last states to allow direct access and all indicators point to improved efficiency of care for the public. At Pinnacle Physical Therapy, we are comfortable with the current legal changes and believe that most of our patients will continue to come by physician referral. With the added option of self-referral/direct access, we can treat those who shy away from traditional medicine for alternatives such as PT.
The law does not affect Medicare, which already allows direct access provided the Plan of Care is signed within 30 days of initiating treatment, nor does AB 1000 affect Worker's Compensation cases. We are not certain how many insurance companies may still require a physician's referral in order to use physical therapy medical benefits, so we are instructing patients to review their individual policies in order to be certain of coverage.
With three well trained and experienced therapists, we at Pinnacle Physical Therapy are ready to help all those who chose to seek treatment for their issues of pain, immobility and incontinence.