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Direct Access For Physical Therapy in Florida - How Does It Work?

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Direct Access Physical Therapy saves you time, and money and offers quicker results. At Personal Care Physical Therapy, we are here when you need us! Whether you are experiencing muscle soreness, injury, balance issues, or sudden onset pain, you can call us directly to schedule a same-week appointment in your home. Physical therapy is a recommended option for conditions such as low back pain, knee pain, sports injuries, vertigo, sciatica, and various other conditions. However, many individuals put off starting physical therapy because they assume they need to see their doctor first to obtain a prescription.

How Does Direct Access Physical Therapy Work?

Direct Access legislation in Florida allows you to see a physical therapist without an ambulatory referral from a physician. This rule means you can self-refer and is especially helpful for sudden injuries or conditions requiring an immediate attention, recurring pain, or individuals who would like to simply avoid additional doctor's office visits.

This statute allows an individual to receive physical therapy in Florida for 30 days without a prescription. After that period, individuals would need to obtain one from their primary care doctor to continue.

Benefits of Direct Access For Physical Therapy

Florida's Direct Access Laws for Physical Therapy remove unnecessary barriers and offer individuals easy access to care.

  • Direct access saves money & time: No more hours spent on the phone with your doctors' office or in the waiting room, or paying extra copays to arrange the care you need. Instead, call us directly at Personal Care Physical Therapy to set up your initial evaluation and treatment.

  • Direct access gets you quicker results: Rather than trying various medications, injections or surgeries, visit a Physical Therapist first to see if they can help. In many cases, starting physical therapy at the first sign of discomfort or pain can not only save time and money but also unnecessary surgery.

Our position is that direct access removes unnecessary limitations and delays for individuals who would greatly benefit from Physical Therapy treatment. We support direct access by onboarding our patients quickly and providing the personalized care and attention they deserve.

In-Home Physical Therapy is Covered by Insurance

In-home Physical Therapy, in addition to direct access laws to PT, has many benefits. Firstly, it is covered by insurance the same way it would be in an outpatient clinic. If we are not in-network with your insurance, we will provide a specialized insurance receipt that you can submit for potential reimbursement.

Additionally, in-home PT saves you time and speeds up your recovery. No more long waits at the clinic or sharing your precious time with others, we bring the clinic experience to you! At Personal Care Physical Therapy, we offer each patient the individualized attention they deserve, in the comfort of their own home. We bring the treatment table and supplies and cater recovery to your personalized lifestyle.

When you call us, our intake personnel will quickly verify your benefits and let you know if you will have any co-payments or coinsurance costs associated with your treatment; however, the initial phone screening is always complimentary.

Why Choose Personal Care Physical Therapy?

At Personal Care Physical Therapy, we help active people across the Treasure Coast, FL stay fit, healthy and mobile without pain medications, injections or surgery.

Our practice offers many services such as:

  • Post-Surgery Recovery

  • Sports Medicine and athletic injuries

  • Aquatic Therapy

  • Golf & Tennis Rehabilitation

  • Pre-surgery strength training

  • Vestibular Therapy

  • Hand Therapy

  • Therapy for low back pain, joint pain, balance disorders, etc.

  • Manual Therapy: kneading, massage and manipulation of muscles to treat musculoskeletal pain.

Your licensed, experienced and board-certified Physical Therapist (or Occupational Therapist) will schedule your initial evaluation, where they will discuss and evaluate any current or previous surgeries, rehab, restrictions, diagnoses and/or disabilities and will provide a custom plan of care for you. They will bring supplies, use hands-on therapy and get you feeling back to yourself in no time! Book your appointment today to start.


Q: Is direct access to physical therapy legal?

  • Yes! A Physical Therapist is legally allowed to evaluate and treat patients when the treatment is within the therapist's scope of expertise. The therapist is required to refer the individual out to an appropriate healthcare provider if they believe that the care is outside of their scope.

Q: Does insurance cover direct access to physical therapy?

  • Yes! Insurance covers direct access to physical therapy. Unless your specific insurance policy requires authorization and referral prior to treatment, they would cover services for the first 30 days without a referral. Most insurance companies, such as Medicare, recognize Direct Access laws without an order; however, some specific policies may require authorization.

Q: Are there any risk associated with direct access physical therapy?

  • No. On the contrary, direct access to physical therapy permits individuals to seek faster relief and help without extra barriers. Make sure to read clinic and company reviews prior to starting Physical Therapy; however patients should not be at any risk when evaluated and treated by a licensed and board-certified therapist.

Q: Are Physical Therapists qualified to diagnose and treat without a referral?

  • Absolutely. Even with a referral from a doctor a Physical Therapist will always perform their own evaluation based on their expertise. Therapists are experts in diagnosis, interventions, and treatments of the musculoskeletal system. If your therapist feels that they may need an MRI or x-ray prior to starting treatment, they will inform you during your initial evaluation.

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