Can a physio refer you for a scan?

Physical therapists and podiatrists can refer you for many types of medical research, including x-rays, CT scans, bone scans, and MRI scans. At any time we can refer you for further research to help establish a diagnosis and direct the most effective care. Physical therapists can refer you for many medical investigations, including x-rays, ultrasounds, and MRI scans. Physical therapists and osteopaths may request some images to aid in diagnosis.

Movehappy professionals may order x-rays, MRI scans, and ultrasounds, but CT scans or bone scans (due to their high level of radiation) are not. Benson Radiology welcomes non-Medicare-eligible musculoskeletal ultrasounds performed by physical therapists where the areas being imaged are of clinical interest. There are many scenarios where the cost is no different if the referral comes from a physical therapist, a family doctor or a specialist. A physical therapist will be able to evaluate your problem or injury and know if further treatment or research is required, in addition to the management that a physical therapist can provide, such as seeing a doctor, specialist, or if diagnostic imaging is required.

Chiropractors, physical therapists and osteopaths can refer patients for an MRI, however, MRI does NOT attract a Medicare reimbursement for these patients at the Melbourne Radiology Clinic. When you consult a physiotherapist with an injury, they will provide you with a complete subjective (questioning) and objective evaluation (observing the injury and feeling its movements, etc.). The different referral rights depend on whether your referrer is a general practitioner, a specialist doctor or a physical therapist. Physical therapists may also refer for scans that are not eligible for Medicare, including area ultrasounds and MRI scans, from areas of clinical interest.

Your physical therapist will always perform a thorough musculoskeletal and neurological evaluation AND arrive at a firm clinical diagnosis before considering MRI. A Sydney physical therapist can refer you for ultrasound images, however, physical therapists cannot be bulk billed through Medicare for ultrasound imaging anywhere on the body. The clinical evaluation of a physical therapist is the most important tool for evaluating what is happening and what needs to be done. If your physical therapist makes a clinical diagnosis of a grade 2 or 3 tear, you may be asked for an ultrasound to confirm it.

Being able to observe muscle movement helps the physiotherapist to be very precise with the treatment and also has tremendous value for the client who can observe. Physiotherapists in Australia receive rigorous university-level training and registration that allow us to operate as first contact professionals. If symptoms persist despite treatment, it is advisable to consult your physical therapist or doctor again for further evaluation. Your physical therapist will combine the information from your clinical evaluation and match it with the results of the validated rule, to prevent you from wasting time and radiation you don't need.

Oliver Smith
Oliver Smith

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