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Special Update on Direct Access in Hospital Outpatient Setting SEPTEMBER 2019 - SPECIAL ISSUE

Tuesday, September 24, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Nicholas
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Direct Access Update

Great news for our Hospital Based Therapists

Since the passing of the direct access bill in 2018 most hospital-based therapists have been waiting patiently for their facilities to allow direct access to begin. The Illinois Hospital Association has informed their member facilities that there is a pathway for independent physical therapy practice at hospital outpatient facilities, if they choose to do so.

Section 250.330(e) of the Hospital Licensing Requirements creates an exception to the requirement of an order from a member of the medical staff:

The medical director of the physical therapy or rehabilitation department may authorize the provision of physical therapy or rehabilitation services or treatments at the request of other than members of the medical staff in accordance with policies approved by the medical staff and governing board.

The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Hospital Licensing Board are in agreement with this interpretation.

Please note that this only pertains to physical therapy services at this time and each individual hospital will have to make the appropriate changes to their polices if they choose to allow direct access for their outpatient facilities. The hospitals do not have to choose to participate in direct access.

This change, if implemented, allows hospital-based outpatient physical therapy to compete on a level playing field with other independent physical therapy operations. Please review the procedures for treating through direct access that the IPTA has provided and that are also available in our Illinois Physical Therapy Practice Act.



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