Did you know that you can come to physical therapy without a referral from your doctor? Just a few years ago the law changed in Michigan from requiring a doctor’s referral for all physical therapy, to being able to begin physical therapy without a referral from your doctor, and continue for 21 days or 10 visits (whichever comes first).
One question we often get about direct access is “Do I need a referral for my insurance?"
In MOST cases, no. Insurances that allow direct access (21 consecutive days of PT) include Medicare, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Priority Health, PH-Medicare, United Health Care, and more.
Some insurances that DO require a referral for all physical therapy visits (including the first 21 days) include Blue Care Network, Medicare Plus Blue, and ASR.
If yours is not listed here, call and ask us, and we can check for you.
If your insurance is one that does require a referral and you are not able to obtain one, you can always come at our self-pay rate.
Why is direct access helpful to you?
Michigan has some of the most limiting laws for direct access (given that it’s only for 21 days/10 visits, compared to most states that have unlimited direct access), but it is still very helpful. You may choose to use direct access to PT because:
• Getting into the doctor might take days or weeks and your pain is a problem now
• You want to save money on the office copay
• It’s an injury you’ve had before and know the musculoskeletal and movement experts can help you (that’s us!)
• Some injuries and conditions may get worse over time, and you want to get it looked at right away
• It allows YOU to take control of your health and take steps toward finding out what could be causing your pain, and how to treat it
If you have any questions about direct access, give us a call and we can help answer them: 616-662-0990.
We want to make physical therapy readily available to you, with a goal of helping you recover fully and be independent!
By: Lisa Pfotenhauer
Steve Bartz, PT