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Value of OT

Our most important finding is that Occupational Therapy (OT) is the only category where higher spending

has a statistically significant association with lower readmission rates for all three medical conditions.

New research released September 15, 2016 from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland School of Medicine is leading the charge for advancing OT services in the hospital. Many of us have been very enthusiastic about this new research and its implications for advancing our hospital based OT programs and services. The door is open for us to use this important study to talk with our managers, service lines, case managers, physicians etc. to discuss all of the amazing and encompassing ways that OTs benefit the whole team and advance patient outcomes. My question to you is, “What are you doing today to advance OT practices in your clinic, hospital or practice?” I challenge you to speak to 3 people today about the benefits of OT that you think either have a basic knowledge or no knowledge at all about OT. Educate 3 people and enthusiastically share your love and passion. You might be surprised what happens next.

By simply reading this article and engaging in this platform it tells me that you are the kind of therapist that is looking to expand your own knowledge and resources for the clients that you service and your own personal development. I am including my personal research synopsis below. The article reference is at the end of this blog post for additional review.

In this study by Rogers, Lavin, and Anderson the obvious conclusion is that there is a statistically significant relationship with OT and the three conditions studied : Heart Failure (HF), pneumonia (PN), and acute myocardial infarction (AMI).

Objective of study: “To identify specific spending categories where higher spending has the potential to reduce readmissions across the three clinical conditions (p.5)”

Time Line: Tracked patients 2009-2012. Looking at 30 day readmission dates.

Patient cohort: enrolled in Medicare fee for service, 65 years or older, and DC from non-federal acute care hospitals with a primary diagnosis or HF, PN, or AMI.

The take home message – Investing in OT services has the potential to improve care quality without significantly increasing overall hospital spending. “By focusing on the wide range of factors that affect patient health outside of the hospital, OT is well-positioned to address these risk factors for readmissions (p.13).

Your Elevator pitch:

“Have you read the new research from Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland? They found that an increased investment in OT services across 3 hospital diagnoses demonstrated a significant reduction in hospital readmissions. Did you know that OT is a critical member of the rehab team? OT has the ability to assess safety concerns with patient discharges, functional abilities, and adaptation of the environment for increased patient independence. I am excited about this new research and proud to be an OT. ”

Please see full article for reference. While you are at it get a copy for a friend or colleague, spread the word!

Rogers, A. T., Bai, G., Lavin, R. A., & Anderson, G. F. (2016, September 2). Higher hospital spending on occupational therapy is associated with lower readmission rates. Medical Care Research and Review, 1–19 – See more at:

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