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Direct Access allows Illinois Consumers to see a Physical Therapist WITHOUT a referral

Tuesday, September 4, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Nicholas
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Direct Access allows Illinois Consumers to see a Physical Therapist WITHOUT a referral: How will they find YOU? 

With direct access in Illinois law, consumers are no longer burdened with obtaining provider referrals to a physical therapist. 

In last month’s issue of Keeping You Connected, we highlighted activating/editing your "Find a PT" Profile. This national database of APTA PT members helps prospective patients identify the provider that best meets their needs. Consumers can narrow their search by area (zip code) and areas of specialty. Make sure your profile also includes hours of operation, types of insurances accepted, any health and wellness services you offer, and then a personal statement (and photo) to help consumers get to know you and decide if you are the best choice of providers they have access to. 

As you begin outreach in your community to attract direct access clients, you can use this customizable brochure to capture the attention of potential patients and educate them on choosing their physical therapist.


This convenient, easy-to-read educational brochure is a great self-referral source for clinicians to display in community health centers, nursing homes, athletic facilities and gyms, and physician offices.

This brochure is FREE for IPTA members to download and can be customized with logos and contact information to promote any physical therapy clinic. Personalization allows you to have your contact information readily available for potential patients and educate the public through direct mail, health seminars, or other public speaking engagements.



Direct Access in Practice: What does that mean for the Practitioner?

While direct access to physical therapists is now a reality, the IPTA recognizes that there are many questions on how to manage new patients, understanding the requirements of notifying other providers, and how to work with insurers to determine policy requirements.  We are working to develop FAQs on questions, but it is important to recognize that passing the law is just the first step.  HB 4643 was effective immediately when signed by Governor Rauner on August 16, 2018, but the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) must still review the law and determine how they will enforce it.  This may mean that additional administrative rules could be put in place.  Until that is determined, we may not be able to give definitive recommendations on implementing direct access into practice.  

We encourage you to submit your questions relating to implementation of direct access to  This will help us to identify areas for research and inclusion in the FAQs, which will be posted as developed - more information about our online resources will be included in next week's Your Advocate.

In the meantime, the APTA has some great resources listed here.



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