New Jersey law allows patients in New Jersey to receive physical therapy treatment from a licensed physical therapist at an outpatient rehabilitation provider (“Provider”) without a referral from a licensed health care professional (“Direct Access Law”), with some restrictions, as set forth below.
In New Jersey, a licensed physical therapist can provide physical therapy treatment to a patient without a referral from a licensed health care professional provided the licensed physical therapist shall refer a patient to a health care professional licensed to practice dentistry, podiatry or medicine and surgery in New Jersey, or other appropriate licensed health care professional:
- When the licensed physical therapist during the examination, evaluation or intervention has reason to believe that physical therapy is contraindicated or symptoms or conditions are present that require services outside the scope of practice of the licensed physical therapist; or
- When the patient has failed to demonstrate reasonable progress within thirty (30) days of the date of the initial treatment.
In addition to the above requirements, the licensed physical therapist shall inform the patient's licensed health care professional of record regarding the patient's plan of care not more than thirty (30) days from the date of initial treatment of functional limitation or pain. In the event there is no identified licensed health care professional of record, the licensed physical therapist shall recommend that the patient consult with a licensed health care professional of the patient's choice. In a school setting, the schedule of physical therapy services shall be reported to the child study team by the licensed physical therapist within thirty (30) days of the date of initial treatment.
NOTE: The patient is responsible for any and all costs associated with the direct access treatment session(s) that are due and owing the Provider and not otherwise covered by the patient’s health care plan or insurer.