The State Senate has unanimously approved legislation allowing Michigan patients to seek out and initiate physical therapy treatment without first receiving a referral from a physician.

The sponsor of the bill, Republican Senator John Moolenaar of Midland, says currently, Michigan residents who have an injury that requires physical therapy first need to see their family doctor to get a prescription for therapy resulting in necessary costs and delays.

Under the measure, residents would be able to visit a physical therapist up to 10 times during a 21-day period without a physician prescription.

Currently, 48 states already have some form of direct access to physical therapy, and Oklahoma’s measure has passed both chambers of its Legislature.

Four companion Senate bills would allow certain employers and insurance providers to determine as a matter of policy if they are going to continue to require a prescription for all covered services.

The bills have been sent to the House for consideration.