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Direct Access Physical Therapy

Physical therapy without a prescription

A physical therapist is allowed to treat a patient without a physician referral through direct access.

At HSS, direct access examinations are appropriate for the following orthopedic nonsurgical injuries or concerns:

  • Joint pain
  • Sprains and strains
  • Neck and back pain
  • Sports or fitness injuries

During the initial examination, the physical therapist will assess needs and determine the next steps for the patient care plan. The therapist will arrange a referral to a physician if needed.


Direct Access Physical Therapy Locations

We have several locations that provide direct access examinations. Please call the locations directly or call our Direct Access Help Line at 1.800.493.0039 for assistance.

New York City

HSS Orthopedic Therapy Center
535 East 70th Street, 2nd Floor

HSS Midtown Rehabilitation and Performance
770 Lexington Avenue, 3rd Floor

HSS Sports Rehabilitation and Performance Center
525 East 71st Street

HSS Rehabilitation 75th Street
405 E. 75th Street (between 1st and York Ave)

White Plains, NY

HSS Westchester Rehabilitation
1133 Westchester Ave

Paramus, NJ

HSS Paramus Rehabilitation
140 East Ridgewood Ave


Patient Information

What is direct access?

Direct access is meant to increase accessibility to a qualified physical therapist so that individuals can be evaluated quickly and determine next steps for care.

Every state in the United States, including the US Virgin Islands, currently allows some level of direct access. States do impose varying levels of restriction to direct access. In New York State, a patient is allowed to see a physical therapist via direct access for up to 10 sessions or 30 days (whichever comes first) from the day of the initial examination.

Learn more about direct access from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

When is a physician's referral needed?

At HSS, a prescription for physical therapy is needed if a person:

  • Has Worker's Compensation, Medicare, Medicaid, or No-Fault insurance
  • Has a hand or wrist injury
  • Is under 18 years old

Requesting an Appointment

The first step is to call 1.800.493.0039 or complete our online form.

If direct access is an appropriate option, we will do our best to schedule an examination within a timely manner.