Missouri bill would ditch need for physical therapy referral

February 8, 2022 GMT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patients could get help from physical therapists without first seeing a doctor or getting a prescription under a bill advanced Tuesday in the Missouri House.

The GOP-led chamber gave the proposal initial approval in a voice vote.

Currently, Missouri patients need a referral from a doctor or a prescription before they can get physical therapy.

St. Louis-area Republican bill sponsor Rep. David Gregory said getting approval from a doctor before treatment can take time and costs money, a hurdle for patients seeking care.

Gregory’s proposal only applies to physical therapists with doctorates in physical therapy or at least five years experience in the field. Physical therapists would also need to consult with patients’ doctors if treatment lasts more than 10 visits or three weeks.

The bill needs another vote of approval to go to the Senate.