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Why do I need to see my doctor first?

The Direct Access law allows you to seek physical therapy treatment without a referral from a medical provider. Many states in the U.S. have Direct Access in place, including the majority of the western states; however, California has yet to pass this law. Without Direct Access, you, as a patient, are denied the right to seek treatment by a physical therapist; you must first obtain a referral from a medical provider.

Typically the bill is voted on once a year, the most recent being on August 31, 2012. Until this law is passed, if you intend to utilize your health insurance benefits, you must see a medical provider before going to a physical therapist. This applies to ALL insurances, regardless if you have a PPO policy that states “no referrals required.” The PPO policy fails to take into account that the services will be provided in California, a state without Direct Access. If you need to go to physical therapy and use your health insurance , you must do the following:

  1. Contact your health care provider and request a referral to physical therapy. He or she may require that you go into the office to obtain the PT referral.

  2. When you have the referral, please call 619-564-7120. Our front office will verify your PT benefits and schedule your initial evaluation within 24 hours. Your provider can also fax the referral directly to 619-564-7121, along with your demographics and insurance information, and our front office will verify your benefits and contact you to schedule your initial evaluation.

For more information on Direct Access laws, visit the California Physical Therapy Association’s Website.

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