Advocacy Resources

TNOTA believes that advocacy is critical to maintaining the health and visibility of occupational therapy in Tennessee. Membership in TNOTA supports our efforts to represent occupational therapy in legislative and regulatory affairs and gives a powerful, united voice to occupational therapy practitioners across our state. TNOTA is always working to develop more publicly available resources to enable OT practitioners, educators, and students to better advocate for our profession. If you have a resource you'd like to see, contact [email protected].

Resource Alert: 
Check out our new Tennessee Telehealth Practice ExplainerRoadmap to Making Changes to the OT Practice Act, and the OT Advocacy Toolkit!


Advocacy Victory! May 2023

Posted May 17, 2023

TNOTA is grateful to our lobbyist partners at Capitol & 5th Public Strategies for diligently tracking bills impacting the occupational therapy profession. Check out their summary of the legislation we tracked on a state level in 2023. Of note- TNOTA worked with our friends at the Tennessee Association of Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists (TAASLP) to pass a bill requiring our respective licensure boards to review and make a determination on licensure applications within 60 days of receiving a completed application. This will expedite the licensure application process and hold the licensure boards to a higher standard of accountability. 


Advocacy Victory! February 2023

TNOTA has been closely monitoring OTA supervision guidelines issued by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee in previous versions of their payer manual. In short, BCBS and their affiliates had required an overly stringent level of supervision for OT Assistants, comparable to the supervision requirements for a rehab technician, which resulted in reimbursement issues for OTA-rendered services. Working with our lobbyists, TNOTA was able to advocate for the supervision guidelines for OTAs billing to BCBS to be relaxed, and conform to industry standards. This is reflected in their most recent payer manual. Special thanks to all who helped us advocate for this important change!


Advocacy Update: February 12, 2023

TNOTA continues to work closely with our lobbyists to monitor legislation that may impact OT practice in our state. Additionally, TNOTA ensures that a member of our executive board is in attendance at each meeting of the Tennessee Board of Occupational Therapy, in order to understand and share  relevant information. Updates from the February 9, 2023 board meeting can be found below. The public may also review licensure board meeting minutes, posted on the state's website.

  • Along with representatives from TNOTA's Practice Act Revisions task force, the licensure board will meet virtually on February 23, 2023 to review proposed revisions to the OT Practice Act in Tennessee. TNOTA will provide additional updates as they become available.
  • The licensure board recently voted to increase renewal fees; exact pricing and date of implementation are TBD
  • The licensure board confirmed that it will honor continuing education credits earned during the "gap period" resulting from the change in license renewal date requirements. The board will include this on their website in their list of Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Rules pertaining to the Practice of Dry Needling will go into effect as of March 19, 2023. This means that OTs with proper training will be able to practice Dry Needling, once certified, after that date. The board will work to develop an application for Dry Needling certification similar to its PAMs certification application. The Board will review this at the 2/23 task force meeting. The Board is also seeking a Consultant on the practice of Dry Needling.
Additionally, TNOTA is watching several bills currently moving through the TN General Assembly. You can read more about what we're tracking on our legislative updates page!


OT Licensure Compact Update: April 20, 2022

With the help of our lobbyists and our friends at the Tennessee Association of Audiology and Speech and Language Pathologists (TAASLP), TNOTA has successfully passed legislation (SB1848) to enact the OT licensure compact in Tennessee! The bill was signed by Governor Lee on April 19, 2022. TNOTA is the 19th state to enact compact legislation. We are excited to join with other states to advance work on Compact Rules. Follow along on our progress at for updates to this important process! Thanks to Senators Watson, Crowe, Hensley, & Reeves, and Rep. Terry for sponsoring this bill in TNOTA. Thanks also to AOTA & NBCOT for their continuous support in this process.   


Telehealth Insurance Coverage 

With the passage of the Tennessee telepractice bill, most healthcare providers' telehealth services are required under the new law to be covered similarly to in-person services. However, due to some of the bill's language, this is not guaranteed for occupational therapy practitioners at this time. TNOTA is working with our lobbyists and others to help rectify this language difference in order to ensure payment parity for our telehealth services. Watch this space for updates as the situation evolves. 

While some insurance providers are covering OT services via telehealth, this varies based on provider rules. TNOTA's advocacy team has compiled a current list of telehealth coverage in Tennessee, updated 7/6/2021. This document includes link to contact insurance providers who have not yet covered telehealth services. This list will be updated as changes are made.

Read more on AOTA's website. 


TNOTA's Lobbyists: Working for you!

TNOTA employs a lobbying firm that closely monitors legislation and executive orders from our Tennessee government.

Read the latest update from Capitol & 5th!



Find your legislators

To better inform yourself on issues that affect the provision of OT services in Tennessee, find your legislators and see where they stand on issues that impact our profession.



Other Templates

Letter of Medical Necessity



Tennessee Health Disparities Task Force

Visit this website to learn more!