Alabama is one of six states that allows limited direct patient access to physical therapy. Before pursuing direct access for physical therapy in Alabama, refer to the state-specific terms governing this treatment, as referenced by APTA.
Physical therapists in Alabama can only evaluate patients. In terms of fitness and wellness services, they are restricted to limited treatment:
Physical therapists can treat children with a diagnosed developmental disability so long as the direct access physical therapy treatment in Alabama matches the patient's care plan.
They can also treat through direct access to physical therapy in Alabama as part of a home health care agency but again, so long as the physical therapy fits in with the patient’s care plan.
To patients in long-term care facilities, the physical therapy must fit the patient’s care plan.
Physical therapy services in Alabama should include education, activities, or wellness services for injury prevention, stress reduction, or the promotion of fitness.
They can also treat patients with a previously diagnosed condition for which direct access physical therapy services in Alabama are determined to be necessary. In this scenario:
The physical therapist must provide a plan of care to the provider who gave out the diagnosis within the first 15 days of physical therapy.
It’s also important to note that the diagnosis cannot have been made more than 90 days prior to the start of physical therapy services.
Direct Access lets you self-refer for physical therapy. No prescription required.