Home Occupational Therapy and It’s Benfits
Occupational therapy practitioners are effective and important components of any home health agency’s patient care and administrative teams. Occupational therapy practitioners can have many roles in improving efficiency, implementing new administrative requirements, and optimizing outcomes for patients. Occupational therapy can perform admission visits. Occupational therapists can conduct the initial assessment visit and the start of care comprehensive assessment on therapy-only patients for whom occupational therapy “establishes eligibility”.
For many payers (e.g., Medicaid, private insurance), occupational therapy does establish the initial eligibility for home health, even though Medicare restricts occupational therapy as a qualifying service only to when there is a “continuing need”. But agencies and consumers should not restrict options for initial visits for non-Medicare beneficiaries. Occupational therapy can be a valuable resource to conduct the initial visits, increasing the number of available staff to conduct initial visits, addressing home safety issues earlier and identifying established routines to share with team members for improved participation by the patient in the plan of care.