Physical therapy director skeptical of proposed Missouri bill

Published: Feb. 15, 2022 at 6:36 PM CST
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KENNETT, Mo. (KAIT) - A physical therapist is on the fence about the proposed bill that could eliminate the need for a physician’s referral for a patient to undergo physical therapy.

Bill Palmer, a physical therapy director for PRO Rehab in Kennett, said there are several perks to the bill.

“It’ll help get them in quicker,” Palmer said. “It’ll help the casual person that just has a minor issue or even a major issue that we catch and send off to another physician.”

Palmer added it is hard for patients to see a physician before going to physical therapy, saying the bill could help them avoid jumping through hoops.

The bill could also simplify the process for athletes to get treatment quicker.

However, the physical therapy director believes smaller practices will need to be more careful about seeing patients without a referral, adding that the referral is like a prescription.

“If something goes wrong, or we have a problem, I’m unable to contact a physician if we have taken them in without the physician knowing,” Palmer said.

He mentioned it’s important to keep a good relationship with physicians, patients, and health insurance companies to make sure everything runs smoothly on their end.

If the bill passes, Palmer said he will still be mindful and keep physicians involved while a patient is getting treatment.

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