Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 4643 on Thursday, a bill which allows consumers to pursue and begin physical therapy services without a doctor’s referral.

The law is now in effect.

It permits physical therapists to evaluate clients without having to submit a diagnosis for a health care professional’s approval.

“Physical therapy has been proven effective in treating joint pain and mobility issues,” Rauner said. “Seeing a physical therapist promptly and starting a rehabilitative course of treatment quickly can reduce or eliminate the need for potentially addicting pain medications, and can reduce overall health care costs. This legislation is a win for everyone.”
Under the legislation, a physical therapist providing services without a referral from a health care professional must notify the patient’s treating health care professional within five business days that the patient is receiving physical therapy. 

This does not apply to those seeking physical therapy for general, non-injury-related fitness or wellness.

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(This story was originally published August 17, 2018)