Self-referral physical therapy has healing and cost advantages

Paula Bishop rehabbing at Harris Regional in Sylva. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Getting into physical therapy is getting easier.

James Usry, 68, is rehabbing at Harris Regional in Sylva from his second knee replacement in recent years.

"The first one, the right one, was done in November of 2012," he recalled. "This one (the left) was in December 2017."

Paula Bishop's case almost mirrored Usry's, except she had both knees replaced in one month.

The 53-year-old could need physical therapy off and on for months, but knows things are moving in the right direction with the elimination of red tape.

"It's awesome because I don't have to call the doctor or my insurance company to make an appointment," she said, explaining referrals from her providers are no longer required.

"Not only does that help with quicker treatments and quicker outcomes, it also helps reduce healthcare related costs," Physical therapist Josh Jones added.

That's because visits to the wrong provider -- or duplication of services -- are reduced in this new balance of health care.

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