See a Physical Therapist First

See a Physical Therapist First

posted at March 28, 2013

Do I need to get a physician order to come to physical therapy in the state of Tennessee?

The quick answer is no. In 2007, Tennessee legislature allowed the provision of direct access to physical therapy.

How long can I come to therapy without seeing a physician?

You are allowed to see a physical therapist without having a physician order for up to 15 visits or 30 days, at which point a physician consult or signed plan of care is needed to continue.

Does insurance pay for physical therapy without a physician order?

Yes, in the vast majority of cases. We will know if your insurance requires a physician order before you start.

Why is this important?

Seeing a physical therapist first allows for a faster intervention and treatment for issues causing pain and restricting function. This means that the patient can save significant amounts of time and money.

A recent utilization study found that for treatment of Low Back Pain, the costs were approximately $2,800 less if a patient started in physical therapy within the first 14 days of injury.

Do I need an X-ray or an MRI for treatment to be successful?

No. Our therapists are trained to identify the source of your pain through effective and thorough clinical examination. Should imaging be required to rule out or confirm other pathology, our therapy staff is trained to recognize this and will organize for you to see an MD as soon as possible.

What are some of the common things that you are able to treat with physical therapy?

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