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Good Stuff

April 10, 2013

Did you know that New Jersey is what’s called a Direct Access state? Receiving quality physical therapy care is far easier than you may think!

Direct Access is a law that was passed in New Jersey in 2003 that states that you do not need to obtain a referral or prescription before attending physical therapy! Physical therapists are credentialed and licensed healthcare providers who are specifically trained to diagnose, evaluate, and treat physical and movement-related concerns autonomously. Specifically at The New Jersey Center of Physical Therapy, 80% of our providers are both licensed Doctors of Physical Therapy and also Board Certified in one or several specialty areas. Believe it or not, less than 1% of all physical therapists in the nation have this dual distinction.

Why does this matter? Let’s look at the evidence. A recent scientific article from the well-respected journal, Health Services Research (HSR), showed that patients got better with fewer visits, and lowered the overall costs of their care, by visiting physical therapy offices directly rather than first going to a physician for a referral. That’s because the more quickly you begin PT after an injury, the more likely you are to avoid complications, reduce scarring, and simply get back on your feet faster.

In a separate article published in the Professional Case Management journal, Lynn Muller, one of our very own former patients and a registered nurse for over 30 years, describes her personal experience in our organization and how Direct Access made it possible for her to get back to action with physical therapy at our organization, after her total knee replacement. Muller explains how a Seattle medical center in a 2007 study discovered that, with the antiquated referral method, “patients were going through lengthy wait periods between tests, a reexamination by a doctor, and eventually referral to physical therapy.  It was not until the course of therapy was initiated that improvement was seen.” Muller goes on to explain the results of doing it the Direct Access way: “Patients benefited overall by receiving effective treatment earlier and reducing complications before they had an opportunity to set in.”

At The New Jersey Center of Physical Therapy, we happily welcome Direct Access patients. All you need to do is call our office, and one of our warm, welcoming front desk associates will be more than happy to get you on our schedule quickly for a full evaluation with one of our highly-skilled, board certified physical therapists — sometimes on the same day! And as always, if we determine that you need to see a medical doctor or another medical professional or get testing in conjunction with your PT care, we will help you find the provider who is right for you.

Call us today to get started 973-248-8111 — and if you’re already here with us, tell your friends and family about Direct Access to PT!


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