Did you know? Patients have Direct Access to Therapists

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Patients have the freedom to choose his or her own physical therapist.

Have you recently experienced an injury or sprain?  Are you experiencing aches and pains from that injury? Did you know that you now have Direct Access to a physical therapist to treat your concern?

In 2013, Indiana passed legal provisions allowing patients to have Direct Access to a physical therapist.   In essence, patients now have the ability to go directly to a physical therapist for evaluation and treatment prior to scheduling a visit to the doctor.  This allows patients to begin treatment for their injury prior to obtaining a prescription for treatment from a physician.  Direct Access provides patients with an immediate physical therapy treatment option.

In Indiana, Physical Therapists “may evaluate and treat for no more than 24 calendar days beginning with the date of the initiation of treatment without a referral.  If additional treatment is needed, the Physical Therapist shall obtain a referral from the individual’s provider”. (APTA, IN State Practice Act)

At Putnam County Hospital, the rehabilitation team is available for questions regarding direct access and rehabilitation services.   Patients have access to our therapists who are highly trained in managing a variety of conditions.  They will also screen patients to ensure that physical therapy is the most appropriate method of care and we will refer you to a physician for further evaluation and care as appropriate.   Patients are evaluated and a treatment plan is established according to each patient’s individual needs.

The Rehabilitation team at Putnam County Hospital works collaboratively with physicians with regular communication and updates on progress to ensure the best care and outcomes for our patients.  We will also assist in insurance coverage verification.

By taking advantage of Direct Access to a Physical Therapist, you are able to begin treatment right away and be one step closer to living pain free.

Some key facts:

  • Direct access and self-referral puts patients in control of their care
  • Patients who refer themselves to physical therapy:
    • are more proactive
    • are more autonomous in making health decisions
    • take less time off work
    • return to work sooner
    • are more likely complete a course of treatment
    • are more interested in self-management
    • more satisfied with their care


  • Direct access and self-referral is not just appropriate for musculoskeletal services but across other areas of physical therapy practice


  • Most insurances will still cover physical therapy under direct access and self-referral
    • Benefits/coverage will be verified prior to initial evaluation
    • If your insurance plan does not pay for services under Direct Access you have two choices:
  1. You can obtain a referral/prescription from your physician.
  2.    You can also choose to pay out-of-pocket if you prefer not to see a physician.


To learn more, or to schedule your evaluation with our Putnam County Hospital Rehabilitation team, please call 765.301.7485 .