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Laws change to benefit patients

New Laws: Access to Physical Therapy and Dry Needling Services Becomes Easier for Virginia Residents*

Identical Senate and House bills passed in Virginia pave the way for easier access to physical therapy services; laws will take effect in July 2023

These new laws are great news for patients seeking to find out if physical therapy can help them or they wish to extend their treatment without having to get a doctor's referral: 

1. a doctor's referral is no longer required in Virginia to access physical therapy treatment (see more on Direct Access here)

2. dry needling can be administered by a certified PT provider without a referral from a doctor (see more on PT@acac's dry needling services here)

* Please note: depending on your coverage, your insurance may still require documentation from your physician to reimburse the cost of physical therapy and Medicare patients are excluded from Direct Access. Call any of our clinics (acacpt.com/locations) to find out more.  

Relevant passages of the legislation below:

SB 1005 Physical therapy; practice. Introduced by: Ghazala F. Hashmi

HB 2359 Physical therapy; practice. Introduced by: C. Matthew Fariss 

Practice of physical therapy. Eliminates the requirement that treatment by a licensed physical therapist for more than 60 consecutive days after evaluation of the patient occurs only upon the referral and direction of a licensed doctor of medicine, osteopathy, chiropractic, podiatry, or dental surgery, a licensed nurse practitioner, or a licensed physician assistant acting under the supervision of a licensed physician.

The bill also allows licensed physical therapists to practice dry needling without a referral if they are licensed to practice dry needling.

Additionally, the bill clarifies that a licensed physical therapist may provide, without referral or supervision, physical therapy services to infants and toddlers who require physical therapy services to fulfill the provisions of their individualized services plans and students with disabilities who require physical therapy services to fulfill the provisions of their individualized education plans or physical therapy services provided under § 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

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