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Direct Access makes self-referral for physical therapy easy in Wisconsin.

Here are the Direct Access laws in Wisconsin, as described by the American Physical Therapy Association:

Wisconsin is one of 26 states that allow direct patient access to PT with some provisions. Direct access for physical therapy in Wisconsin may be administered with the following provisions:

Written referral from an appropriate healthcare provider is required unless the PT services are provided:

In schools to children with exceptional education needs.

Within a home health care agency.

To a patient in a long-term care facility (if PT aligns with the patient’s plan of care).

In relation to athletic activities, conditioning, or injury prevention.

To an individual for a previously diagnosed medical condition after informing the patient’s healthcare provider who made the diagnosis.

Per the physical therapy examining board regulations:

Referral is not required for the following direct access physical therapy services in Wisconsin when provided in employment, home, leisure, recreational, or educational settings:


Injury prevention and biomechanics application; and

Treatment of musculoskeletal injuries, excluding acute fractures or soft tissue avulsions.

The PT must refer a patient to an appropriate healthcare provider if necessary services exceed the direct access physical therapy scope of practice in Wisconsin.

A physical therapist in Wisconsin who receives a referral shall communicate with the referring provider as necessary to ensure continuity of care.


Direct Access lets you self-refer for physical therapy. No prescription required.