Florence Clark; High-Definition Occupational Therapy’s Competitive Edge: Personal Excellence Is the Key. Am J Occup Ther 2011;65(6):616-622. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2011.656001.
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Having the power to influence health care policy and secure our place in emerging medical homes and accountable care organizations;
Including occupational therapy as a standard of best practice rehabilitation;
Having a sufficient revenue stream to support our services in elder care, mental health, early intervention, and autism;
Strengthening our voice in national agendas regarding obesity and other major threats to the health of all Americans;
Affirming our unique and invaluable contributions to health care and societal needs, for which no other profession could ever substitute; and
Ensuring reimbursement streams to support the skillful and complex work we do every day.
Let’s get the word out that we have already published studies that show occupational therapy’s effectiveness in areas such as chronic disease management, caregiver support, dementia care, and prevention.
Let’s increase the number of grant applications we submit to NIH.
Let’s use our extensive experience in home health care to demonstrate our effectiveness in fall prevention and in decreasing other risks associated with 30-day acute care rehospitalizations.
Let’s work on our documentation. In talking with people whose work is to review Medicare claims, I’m told we hesitate to fully document the familial, cognitive, and occupation-based aspects of our interventions. Instead, we have a tendency to overemphasize motor-based components. Is this because we lack confidence, have been intimidated, or simply don’t think we can get reimbursed for all that we do? I have been advised by these experts that we can get paid for the multifaceted practices for which we have been prepared and in which we believe. We just need to stand up as a collective and own the appropriate words. Let’s figure out how to do this.
Along these lines, let’s make sure that insurance companies and other payers provide sufficient coverage for our services. Our competitive advantage is that thanks to AOTA advocacy, we already are designated an essential health benefit in the health care reform law.
Let’s make clear and tell everyone about the work we are now doing in innovative areas like telemedicine, in helping people embed the latest technology in their lifestyles, and in providing customized and personalized care.
And let’s get those of you who are leaders in large health care systems planning to convert into accountable care organizations to insist on being at the table where policies are determined and power is brokered.
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