Until recently, in order to see a physical therapist, a prescription for treatment was required. Illinois was one of the few states that still had this requirement, however, that Illinois law changed on August 16 when Governor Rauner signed the Direct Access Bill 4643 into law. This means Illinois residents can feel better now without waiting for a referral from their physician.
A study recently published by the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy noted average savings of $1,543 in fees and treatment costs for those who chose physical therapy as their first treatment option instead of seeing a specialist first and being referred to physical therapy. Both groups in the study saw similar improvement in condition, despite their sequence of treatment. Not only does this change in the law bring cost savings to the ever-growing health care insurance rates, but it will allow individuals to prioritize treatment options that are less invasive, less addictive, and more personalized.
Access to physical therapy related to fitness or wellness will be unrestricted, which means that anyone can start adding regular physical therapy into their wellness routine before chronic pain limits their daily function. Rob Larkins, Northern Rehab’s lead Physical Therapist in the DeKalb Lincoln Highway clinic says, “Patients will be able to schedule an annual check-up or regular check-in that feels right to them and their therapist. We hope new patients, maybe even ones that are fearful of the doctor’s office, are comfortable choosing physical therapy first.”
Under the law, if someone comes in without a referral and has a treating physician, the physician must be notified within five days. Physical therapists are also required to refer patients to another provider if there is no measurable improvement within a certain time period. Ken Olson, President and Physical Therapist at Northern Rehab, states clearly, “We want to work together with doctors, specialists, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals to see physical therapy become part of a movement towards a holistic, person-centered understanding of health and well being.”
Choose physical therapy first to eliminate pain, optimize your function, and be one step closer to living pain free. The Northern Rehab Physical Therapists provide hands-on care combined with specific corrective therapeutic exercises that will correct physical impairments to allow a healthier, more active daily life. Certain insurance companies may still require a physician’s referral for physical therapy, but the friendly staff at Northern Rehab is happy to assist patients in understanding their insurance benefits and requirements related to physical therapy.
Voted DeKalb County’s Best Physical Therapists 7 years in a row, Northern Rehab Physical Therapy Specialists blends the science of healing and the art of caring for fast, effective results. Their treatments help patients get back into life by restoring and promoting physical function, fitness, and optimal quality of life in order to recover from injury, impairment, or disease. You don’t need to live with pain. Now, the choice is yours. Choose Northern Rehab today, and stop letting pain control your life. Learn how Northern Rehab can help you today. Now accepting new patients in all 5 clinics located in DeKalb/Sycamore, Genoa, Rochelle, and Sandwich!