O’Brien applauds Senate legislation to ease access to physical therapy treatment

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State Rep. Margaret O’Brien applauds the state Senate today passing legislation to provide direct access to physical therapy services.

Senate Bill 690, along with four companion bills, allows physical therapists to initially treat patients without a referral from a physician. There are 48 states, the U.S. military and the District of Colombia that already have some form of direct access to physical therapy in place.

“I am thrilled to see our state is moving towards direct access for physical therapy,” said O’Brien, R-Portage. “I have personally benefitted from physical therapy services in the past and believe this is a common-sense reform that puts Michigan in line with the rest of the country. It has been a privilege to work with the Michigan State Medical Society and orthopedic surgeons in finding a win for our citizens.”

SB 690 provides the ability to treat a patient without a prescription for 21 days or 10 treatments, whichever happens first and allows for unlimited access to prevent injury or promote fitness. Rep. O’Brien introduced similar legislation in the House. Both in 2011 and 2014 she has been a strong advocate for the measure.

“This legislation is a victory for patients who have one less hoop to jump through to receive necessary treatment,” O’Brien said. “Michigan will also keep more physical therapists in the state who are able to now fully use their skills and expertise.”

SB 690 now heads to the House Health Policy Committee.