New Jersey is one of 26 states that allows patients to leverage the benefits of direct access for physical therapy. However, a physical therapist in New Jersey treating direct access patients is contingent upon the following:
A PT shall refer a patient to a healthcare professional licensed in New Jersey to practice dentistry, podiatry, medicine, or surgery—or another appropriate licensed healthcare professional:
When the PT performing the examination, evaluation, or intervention under direct access for physical therapy in New Jersey has reason to believe that therapy is contraindicated or symptoms or conditions are present that require services outside the physical therapy scope of practice; or
When the direct access physical therapy patient in New Jersey has failed to demonstrate reasonable progress within 30 days of the date of the initial treatment.
Within 30 days from the date of initial treatment with direct access physical therapy in New Jersey, a physical therapist shall inform the patient's licensed healthcare professional of record of the patient's plan of care.
In the event that there is no identified licensed healthcare professional of record, the physical therapist shall recommend that the patient consult with a licensed healthcare professional of the patient's choice.
In a school setting, the schedule of direct access physical therapy services for New Jersey residents shall be reported to a child study team by the physical therapist within 30 days of the date of initial treatment.