Illinois Gov Bruce Rauner has signed into law a bill that eliminates the requirement for patients to obtain a doctor’s prescription prior to seeking treatment from a licensed physical therapist.
The legislation was signed August 16 during a ceremony at the State Capitol attended by members of the Illinois Physical Therapy Association, including Athletico physical therapists and Athletico vice president of clinical operations Kevin Richardson, according to a media release from Athletico Physical Therapy.
The measure is expected to reduce the need for unnecessary X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, and opioid prescriptions.
Illinois became the 45th state to allow patients to seek treatment from a physical therapist without a prescription or physician referral. Under the Illinois law, a physical therapist must refer a patient to a health care professional if they do not demonstrate measurable or functional improvement after 10 visits or 15 business days, whichever occurs first, the release explains.
“We would like to thank the governor, the legislature and the Illinois Physical Therapy Association for providing Illinois patients with the freedom to directly seek physical therapy treatment,” says Athletico CEO Mark Kaufman, in the release.
“Removing the physician-referral requirement will give patients an opportunity to begin the treatment process sooner, and it will save them money. In addition, it will free up appointment times for medical doctors to see patients needing advanced medical treatment. This is ultimately a win for Illinois residents and the entire medical community,” he adds.
[Source(s): Athletico Physical Therapy, PR Newswire]