Direct Access to a Physical Therapist

In California, you do not need a doctor’s referral to start physical therapy.

Californians have had Direct Access to physical therapy since 2014. In most situations, you can be evaluated and treated by a licensed Physical Therapist without first seeing your physician for a referral.

Direct Access provides a number of benefits:

  • You receive quicker access to the treatment you need.
  • Research shows seeing a physical therapist first can save you money.
  • Going to physical therapy first, in many cases, will result in fewer overall treatment sessions.

Direct Access in California does have limitations.

  • You can only receive physical therapy through Direct Access for 45 days or 12 visits, whichever comes first.
  • After the Direct Access period ends, you are required to visit your health care provider’s office to obtain a referral, prior to returning to physical therapy.
  • If you have seen a physical therapist using Direct Access, you are required to have a referral to return for more treatment in the future.

We value the relationships we have established with our patients and their physicians. If you contact us without a referral, we would be happy to provide our evaluation report and updates on the plan of care, upon your request.

MEDICARE: Physical therapists cannot bill Medicare for treatment provided without cooperation from your doctor. We are required to obtain the signature of the referring doctor on our treatment plan. Therefore, we do ask those with Medicare to obtain a referral from your doctor before scheduling your first appointment. However, if you are a returning patient, we can obtain the approval with the doctor’s office directly.

Please call our office if you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment. Contact Us.