Physical Therapists Fight Mandatory Referrals

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For Chase Bearden, physical therapy is a constant. At 17, the former high school gymnast broke two vertebrae in his neck during a routine practice and was paralyzed from the chest down. Now Bearden, 34, who went from being an athlete to learning to maneuver in a wheelchair, routinely visits his physical therapist to work his back and shoulders and stay agile.

But Bearden can't go straight to his therapist — under Texas law, anyone who wants to see a physical therapist has to first see a physician and get a referral. For a recurring condition like Bearden's, a ...

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