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
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
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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