Occupational therapy in primary care is hot! With healthcare shifting from “fee-for-service” to “value-based purchasing” we are changing healthcare practices. Prevention, wellness, self-management, keeping people from re-admitting to hospitals, managing chronic illness for secondary prevention, and telehealth are practices embraced by many.
Occupational therapists add value to care in the setting of patient-centered medical homes. A patient with paraplegia came into a clinic to be seen for his shoulder pain. He rated his pain between 2 to 9 throughout the day. An occupational therapist, with the primary care clinician, attended the encounter. The occupational therapist gave prompt intervention to address pain management issues. The patient said, “It is eye-opening; gravity is pulling my weak, painful muscles. I can definitely do the three things you taught me. Yeah, I want to have occupational therapy to learn more.” He left happy.
By: Shanpin Fanchiang, OTR/L