Fall 2013 – Direct Access to Physical Therapy in Michigan is Overdue

Direct Access to Physical Therapy in Michigan is Overdue.
 
Kevin C. Patterson1*, Rachel A. Patterson2
 
1College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, Grand Rapids, MI, USA
2College of Health Professions, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, MI, USA

 

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*Corresponding Author: Kevin C. Patterson; patte297[at]gmail.com
 
Key Words: Direct Access; Physical Therapy; Primary Care; Healthcare; Utilization
 
Abstract:
Direct access to physical therapists (PTs), the ability for a patient to seek care from a PT without physician referral, has been contested for many years. The traditional gatekeeper model of access to physical therapy has changed throughout the nation and only two states remain without direct access. Michigan is one of those states, and the state legislature has not advanced direct access legislation despite numerous opportunities over the past 12 years. However, no evidence exists to show that direct access causes harm to patients and the healthcare system and, on the contrary, easy and early access to physical therapy by patients has been shown to improve outcomes and decrease costs of care. Direct access to physical therapy is long overdue in Michigan and should be reconsidered in order to better serve our patients and the healthcare system.
 
Published: September 30, 2013
 
 
Senior Editor: N/A
 
Junior Editor: N/A
 
Citation:
Patterson KC, Patterson RA. Direct Access to Physical Therapy in Michigan is Overdue. Medical Student Research Journal. 2013;3(Fall):13-16.
 
 
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Kevin Patterson

Executive Editor
Kevin Charles Patterson is a fourth year medical student at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine. He is in his eighth year at MSU after graduating with a B.S. in Human Biology and a B.S. in Microbiology, both in 2010. He is considering a career in internal medicine with a combined scientist training program in residency; after residency, his plans include the possibility of a fellowship and the ultimate goal of practicing academic medicine. Editor Note (2013-14): Kevin graduated, matched, and is a resident in Internal Medicine at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.