An independent study published in Medical Care Research and Review found that "occupational therapy is the only spending category where additional hospital spending has a statistically significant association with lower readmission rates" for the three health conditions studied: heart failure, pneumonia, and acute myocardial infarction. Researchers used Medicare claims and cost data to evaluate spending on different services to see how those costs are related to quality. They found that extra spending on occupational therapy (OT) is the only one of 19 services to have a statistically significant impact on lower readmission rates.
OT focuses on caregiver education around coping, both physically and mentally, with the return home of a family member. OTs also help patients navigate their homes and communities, and set up the environment to ease caregiver burden. All of this eases the transition home, and helps lowers the risk for hospital readmissions.