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Bill allows patients access to physical therapy without referral

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OKLAHOMA – Legislation allowing Oklahomans the right to access physical therapy services without a referral has been approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

House Bill 1020, allows individuals to access physical therapy services without a referral.

Currently, 48 states, the US military and the District  of Columbia provide their citizens greater access to physical therapy services than Oklahoma most of which without the requirement of a referral.

“This is another step toward a victory for the right of Oklahomans to access safe and effective physical therapy directly,” said Hulbert, R-Fort Gibson. “The result will be lower health care costs, better clinical outcomes and less delay in getting treatment for those with and without insurance.”

Roberts said physical therapy is one of the most common needs of injured patients.

“Children are currently allowed to receive physical therapy services in Oklahoma without a physician approval, under the Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 1994 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,” said Roberts, R-Hominy. “If some Oklahomans are able to receive physical therapy services without a physician referral, shouldn’t other Oklahomans be able to directly access safe, conservative physical therapy services? Our legislation will provide Oklahomans more choices and access concerning their healthcare needs.”

The legislation passed by a 68–21 vote and will now proceed to the Oklahoma Senate where it will be available for a committee hearing.