Direct Access in Tennessee for Physical and Occupational Therapy

Direct Access in Tennessee for Physical and Occupational Therapy

March 31, 2023

Tennessee is among a growing number of states that have passed legislation allowing for direct access to physical therapists. Direct access allows patients to see a licensed therapist without first meeting with or being referred by a physician. This article will discuss the benefits of direct access, how it works in Tennessee, and why you should consider using this new model for treatment.

How does direct access work?

Direct access is a process in which patients can receive physical therapy and occupational therapy services without the need for a physician referral. Patients may self-refer to these services, or they can be referred by other healthcare professionals such as physicians, chiropractors, nurses, etc.

Direct access allows you to treat your own injuries or conditions without needing to see your doctor first. This means that if you have an injury and want treatment from a physical therapist or occupational therapist without going through your primary care physician first (or vice versa), then direct access can help make this happen!

Who can use direct access?

Direct access is available to anyone 18 or older who has a chronic condition, an acute condition, or a musculoskeletal injury. Individuals with neurological impairments or mental health issues can also use direct access if they meet the other requirements (i.e., age).

If you meet these criteria and would like to use direct access in Tennessee for physical therapy or occupational therapy services, or if you have any questions regarding direct access or our facilities, please call us at (423) 317-7772 or email

Why would I use direct access, and how would this benefit me?

Direct access is a term that refers to the ability of patients to see a physical therapist or occupational therapist without a referral from their doctor. This means no more waiting for an appointment, no need for insurance restrictions, and being able to get started with treatment right away!

The benefits of direct access include:

No need for a referral from your physician

No waiting for an appointment with your doctor, who may not be able to see you for weeks (or months!)

Less time spent going through paperwork with medical offices

Access to care without insurance restrictions No more waiting for treatment

What kind of treatments can I receive under direct access?

Direct access allows you to receive physical and occupational therapy without a physician referral.

Physical therapy can help with mobility issues, chronic pain, joint stiffness, and other conditions. Occupational therapy can help you with the skills necessary to work or live independently.

Will my Insurance cover and pay for my treatment?

Direct Access empowers patients to choose their physical or occupational therapy provider without insurance limitations. Most insurance plans cover the cost of therapy, making it an accessible and affordable option. Patients can verify coverage by contacting their health insurance company directly or asking Tristar Physical Therapy to call on their behalf.

How do I get started with direct access?

To utilize Direct Access, you have two options: you can visit Click Here to schedule an appointment with Tristar Physical Therapy, or you can call us at (423) 317-7772 to speak with our team and schedule an appointment over the phone. When you arrive for your appointment, bring your insurance card, a list of all medications (prescription and over-the-counter), and any relevant medical information, such as previous injuries or surgeries related to your condition. If previous injuries or surgeries pertain directly to the condition being treated by direct access, bring those along.


Direct access is a great way to receive physical or occupational therapy treatment. It allows you to receive care in the comfort of your home without waiting weeks or months on end for approval from insurance companies or physicians before beginning treatment. Direct access allows you to see the therapist immediately without having any red tape involved, making this service very appealing to many people who want an efficient way of getting better.