Lawmakers vote to allow direct access to physical therapists
BATON ROUGE - Patients would have direct access to physical therapists without needing a doctor's referral, under a bill that has won final legislative approval.
The measure received final legislative passage with a 33-2 Senate vote this week, sending it to Gov. John Bel Edwards' desk.
Patients now have to obtain a referral from a licensed doctor to see a physical therapist.
Bill sponsor Sen. Fred Mills, a Republican from Parks, says by doing away with that recommendation requirement, access to physical therapists would be more convenient and more accessible for patients.
Opponents, including several medical organizations, say the new rules mean therapists could miss a potentially life-threatening health problem.