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Published on August 18, 2017

Tina Sullivan

Gundersen St. Joe's offers direct access to physical therapy care

When Tina Sullivan of Hillsboro began having discomfort in her shoulder, a friend suggested she see a physical therapist.

"I really didn't want to take time off work for a doctor's appointment to obtain a referral, so I contacted Gundersen St. Joseph's Rehab department," explains Tina. "They told me about direct access to Physical Therapy where I didn't need a doctor's referral to get a consult."

"Research shows that early access to Physical Therapy can improve patients' outcomes by decreasing the treatment time after an injury," says Kelly Dunek, physical therapist at Gundersen St. Joseph's Hospital and Clinics Hillsboro.

"Direct access is more cost efficient with less visits needed and decreased medication and imaging (such as x-rays) costs as well."

Without a referral, Gundersen St. Joseph's Physical Therapy can treat low back pain, ankle sprains, knee pain and strains, shoulder pain and neck pain. Kelly warns that every insurance policy is different, so some may still require a provider referral.

"Following a medical screening and consult with my primary care provider, Kelly recommended a care plan," Tina says. "Since they offered early morning appointments and I live nearby, I didn't have to miss as much work."

After a few weeks of treatment, Tina says she is pain free and has increased range of motion in her shoulder. "I am very pleased with direct access to Physical Therapy," Tina exclaims. "Our rural community is so fortunate to have such a great rehab department so close to home!"

For more information on direct access physical therapy in Hillsboro, call (608) 489-8260.