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Alabama Physical Therapy Referrals

Is a referral required to provide PT services?

Yes.  Physical therapy shall be practiced only upon the referral of a physician licensed to practice medicine or surgery, a dentist licensed to practice dentistry, a licensed chiropractor, a licensed assistant to a physician acting pursuant to a valid supervisory agreement, or a licensed certified registered nurse practitioner in a collaborative practice agreement with a licensed physician.

Are there exceptions to the referral requirement?

Without prescription or referral, a licensed physical therapist may perform an initial evaluation or consultation of a screening nature to determine the need for physical therapy and may perform the physical therapy.

The physical therapy and other services which may be performed without prescription or referral, include and are limited to the following:

    • To a child with a diagnosed developmental disability pursuant to the plan of care for the child.
    • To a patient of a home health care agency pursuant to the plan of care for the patient.
    • To a patient in a nursing home pursuant to the plan of care for the patient.
    • Related to conditioning or to providing education or activities in a wellness setting for the purpose of
    • injury prevention, reduction of stress, or promotion of fitness.
    • To an individual for a previously diagnosed condition or conditions for which physical therapy services are appropriate after informing the health care provider rendering the diagnosis. The diagnosis shall have been made within the immediately preceding ninety (90) days. The physical therapist shall provide the health care provider who rendered the diagnosis with a plan of care for physical therapy services within the first fifteen (15) days of physical therapy intervention.

Which providers can issue the referral?

    • A physician licensed to practice medicine or surgery,
    • A dentist licensed to practice dentistry, a licensed chiropractor,
    • A licensed assistant to a physician acting pursuant to a valid supervisory agreement, or
    • A licensed certified registered nurse practitioner in a collaborative practice agreement with a licensed physician.

Reference 

Ala. Code 34-24-210.1.

Ala. Code ยง 34-24-191

Ala. Admin. Code r 700-X-3-.03



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