October 19. 2023

Do You Need a Referral for Physical Therapy?

One of the most common questions, answered.

Whether or not you need a referral for physical therapy can vary depending on your location, your health insurance, and the specific circumstances of your condition. Here are some general guidelines.

  • Direct Access: All U.S. states have some form of direct access to physical therapy -- that is, you can see a physical therapist without a referral from a physician. However, the limitations on direct access can vary based on where you live. There could be limits on the number of visits or the types of treatments you can receive without a referral, so it's essential to check the specific regulations in your state.
    • For more info on direct access in Illinois, click here.
  • Health insurance: Your health insurance plan may require a referral for physical therapy. If you plan to use your insurance to cover the cost of therapy, you should contact your insurance provider to understand their requirements.
  • Medicare: If you have Medicare, you do not need a referral for physical therapy. However, after your initial evaluation, your therapist will send your plan of care to your physician to sign so that you can continue to receive treatment.
  • Post-Surgery: Some post-surgical cases may require a specific aftercare protocol based on your surgery. In this case, a referral from your surgeon is required.

It's essential to check with your insurance company and/or the specific physical therapy clinic you plan to visit to determine whether a referral is necessary in your situation. They can provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding your specific needs and circumstances.

Our Approach to Physical Therapy

Individualized "hands-on" care, specific manual therapy and exercise instruction, and pain-science education are the hallmarks of our unique practice.

If you're currently experiencing pain or would like to explore different types of physical therapy, check out our treatment options. Or, use the button below to schedule an appointment at the location of your choosing. We can typically see you within 24-48 hours.

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