Thesis - NSU Access Only
Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)
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College of Health Care Sciences - Physical Therapy Department
Publication Date / Copyright Date
Nova Southeastern University
Lawrence Scott Stewart. 1998. Direct Access: The Impact on the Practice of Physical Therapy in the State of Florida. Master's thesis. Nova Southeastern University. Retrieved from NSUWorks, College of Health Care Sciences - Physical Therapy Department. (153)
Purpose: To examine the impact that direct access has had on the practice of physical therapy in the State of Florida.
Subjects: 225 surveys were mailed to randomly chosen licensed physical therapists in Florida.
Methods: Survey designed by Domhodlt and Durchholz was used to collect data including demographics, extent of direct access use, insurance reimbursement collection, and opinion about the benefits of direct access use, insurance reimbursement collection, and opinion about the benefits of direct access to patient care and the profession. Means, medians, standard deviations, and frequencies were calculated. Chi-square analysis was use to test the opinions of respondents with regard to the benefits of direct access to patient care and the profession.
Results: Only 24.5% of the respondents had seen patients through direct access, and an estimated 7.3% of their caseloads were seen through direct access. The primary reasons for not practicing through direct access were that the employer does not permit direct access practice (52.9%), and insurance does not reimburse for direct access (37.7%). 72% of the respondents felt that direct access did not benefit patient care and 84.9% felt that it did not benefit the profession. Respondents who had treated through direct access were significantly more likely to believe that direct access had benefited their patients and the profession than were respondents who had not practiced through direct access.
Conclusion: Direct access has had little impact on the practice of physical therapy in the State of Florida. Few patients are being evaluated or treated through direct access and it represents a small portion of caseloads. Limiting factors include employer policies not permitting direct access and insurance not reimbursing for this type of health care service.