Bills have been filed in the Texas House (HB 29) and the Texas Senate (SB 732) that would give physical therapists 30 days of direct access to patients without an appropriate referral. TOA members are asked to reach out to their state representatives and senators to ask them to not support these bills.
You can send e-mails to your state lawmakers through the grassroots e-mail program that can be found below.
While physical therapists are important members of the health care team, they are neither licensed nor trained to make a medical diagnosis. A medical diagnosis serves as the foundation for physical therapy services and acts as a filter to ensure that a patient is provided the most efficient and high-quality treatment possible. In addition, it can rule out more serious medical conditions.
TOA has presented alternative language for the bill’s sponsor to consider. For a person over five years old with a specific injury or condition to see a physical therapist for a one-time instruction of a home exercise program without first obtaining a medical diagnosis and a proper screening would be reasonable. Any treatment beyond that, however, should be guided by a medical diagnosis from a physician.
TOA firmly believes that the best course for an individual who is suffering from discomfort is to first see a physician in order to obtain a medical diagnosis before embarking on any treatment regimen.