Direct Access

Patient Rights and Direct Access for Physical Therapy in Connecticut

Although many people don’t know it, in Connecticut, patients can go directly to a physical therapist for treatment, without a referral from a doctor. This is due to a bill that was passed in 2006. Please refer to the following text from the The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA):

Connecticut Becomes 42nd State To Pass Legislation Allowing Direct Access To Physical Therapy Services

ALEXANDRIA, VA, June 2, 2006 — Patients in Connecticut who need physical therapist services can now go directly to their physical therapist without having to wait to receive a referral from a physician.

Connecticut is the 42nd state to pass “direct access” legislation that eliminates, under certain conditions, the physician referral requirement for patients needing physical therapist services. The bill, SB 164, sponsored by the Joint Public Health Committee under the leadership of State Senator Christopher Murphy (D-Cheshire), was signed into law today by Governor M Jodi Rell. It will take effect on October 1, 2006.

“This bill is a thoughtful piece of legislation that was drafted with the help of many groups including the CT State Medical Society, CT Chiropractic Association, the insurance industry and input from the Public Health and Judiciary Committees with patient safety taking the highest priority,” said Peg Grey, PT, MA, ATC, president of the Connecticut Physical Therapy Association (CPTA). “Direct access to physical therapy services will allow the people of Connecticut improved access to physical therapy care.”

“The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) applauds the state legislature for passing this important legislation to provide patients with direct access to physical therapist services,” said APTA President Ben F Massey, Jr, PT, MA. “A mandated referral causes delays, and at times denies patients access to cost-effective physical therapy services. Connecticut’s new law will improve access and patient choice while maintaining quality and safety.”

The Connecticut Physical Therapy Association (CPTA) comprises physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students in the field of physical therapy. The goal of the Connecticut Physical Therapy Association is to help meet the physical therapy needs of the people of Connecticut through the development and improvement of physical therapy education, practice, and research.

The American Physical Therapy Association is a national professional organization representing more than 65,000 members. Its goal is to foster advancements in physical therapy practice, research, and education.