Legislation sponsored by Senator John Moolenaar to allow direct consumer access to physical therapy services in Michigan was unanimously approved by the Michigan Senate, according to an InsuranceNewsNet.com news release. Senate Bill 690 will allow Michigan patients to seek out and initiate physical therapy treatment without first receiving a referral from a physician. The bill enables residents to visit a physical therapist up to ten times during a 21-day period without a physician prescription.
Moolenaar explains, “Currently, Michigan residents who have an injury that requires physical therapy first need to see their family doctor to get a prescription for therapy – resulting in necessary costs and delays. Allowing people the direct, yet limited, access to treatment is about putting the health and well-being of patients first while also improving the cost-effectiveness of the system.”
Four companion Senate bills would allow certain employers and insurance providers to determine as a matter of policy if they are going to continue to require a prescription for all covered services. The InsuranceNewsNet.com news report notes that presently, 48 states have some form of direct access to physical therapy, and Oklahoma’s measure has passed both chambers of its legislature.
Moolenaar says, “I continue to advocate for increased access to care. At a time when our state is facing a shortage of primary care physicians, this will help provide better and more efficient access to high-quality care.”