Can I go directly to an outpatient physical therapist?

According to the Illinois Physical Therapy Association, as of August 16, 2018, direct access in the State of Illinois allows physical therapists to evaluate and treat patients without a referral (prescription), subject to the following requirements:

  1. The patient must be referred if they are not showing functional improvement after 10 visits or 15 business days (whichever comes first). The patient must continue to show improvement in order to continue care.
  2. A patient returning for the same or similar treatment 30 days after discharge should be referred to the appropriate health care provider to ensure that an underlying condition is not causing the symptoms to return.
  3. Any condition that is found to be outside the scope of physical therapy when evaluated or during the course of treatment must be referred out.

Direct access only allows for legal treatment of patients without referral. This does not require insurers to pay for services that are provided.

  • For insurances that require referrals, this is only a requirement for payment by insurance. Patients are still allowed to be treated by a PT without a referral.
  • Physical therapy benefits will be verified with your insurance company for direct access patients just as they are for patients with referrals.

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If you have further questions regarding direct access please call us at 773-236-2256