Florida extends access to PT without physician prescription

A new law went into effect in Florida last week that extends the time patients can see a physical therapist without a prescription from 21 days to 30, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

After this time period, a physician must evaluate the patient and write a prescription for the patient to continue treatment, according to the report. The law also allows patients to use prescriptions from physicians out-of-state to access physical therapy, to help account for the "snowbirds" who spend part of the year in Florida, according to the report.

Proponents of extending direct access to physical therapy say the law is a boon considering the aging population and increase in use of physical therapy, according to the report. They also say it can help drive down healthcare costs as patients are able to get therapy more quickly and less likely to need medical imaging, for example.

Some do oppose the law due to patient safety concerns, according to the report. However, the American Physical Therapy Association says studies show therapists know when to refer patients to physicians, keeping patient safety in mind, according to the report.


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