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What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy (OT) is a rehabilitation field that uses knowledge to help people regain skills in order to help them recover or adapt to new conditions following injury, illness, or as a result of a developmental disorder. In short, OT equips people with the skills they need in order to do the things that are meaningful and necessary in their everyday lives. We work with clients who are referred by physicians, community or governmental agencies.

What are the most common reasons to see an OT?
Clients can be referred to us for several reasons, but a few of the most frequently seen ones include:

  • difficulty in caring for yourself or others
  • assistance in managing daily life with chronic conditions or disabilities
  • concerns about home safety
  • challenges of low vision
  • difficulty moving around the community
  • return to work and school following an illness or injury
  • wheelchair fittings
  • assistive technology assessments and recommendations
  • difficulty with transportation needs or driving

In adults, we most commonly see clients following:

  • a neurological event or diagnosis, such as stroke, Parkinson's Disease, or Alzheimer's
  • a fall
  • a recognition of changing eyesight or strength

In children, we most commonly see clients with:

  • developmental delays
  • challenging behavior 
  • difficulty succeeding in daily school tasks

How do I get an OT evaluation? 
Give us a call! Based on the information you provide us, we will schedule an appointment for one of our skilled clinicians to meet with you at your convenience. Upon the evaluation, if it’s decided that ongoing treatment is necessary, we’ll need a physician referral to bill your insurance. Physician referrals are not required for self-pay clients.

How long is an OT evaluation? 
Approximately one hour, sometimes an hour and a half, depending on the needs of the person.

How many visits will be necessary? 
This varies from client-to-client, so the determination will be made by the therapist and the client at the time of the initial evaluation.

Will my insurance pay for OT treatment? 
Yes, however coverage may vary based on your individual carrier and whether Washington University is listed as in or outside of your network. Our intake coordinator can assist with identifying the details of your plan and individual coverage.

Will Medicare cover OT treatment? 
Yes. Traditionally, Medicare will pay 80%.

What about Medicaid? 
Washington University is a credentialed provider for clients who are under the age of 19, however we do not accept Medicaid coverage for adults at this time.

Will an occupational therapist come to my house? 
Yes, if an in-home evaluation is requested and if you live within an hour’s drive of St. Louis. Outside that area, you will be instructed to come to the clinic or we will try to refer you to another facility closer to your home. *Please note, visits to areas further outside of the St. Louis metro-area will be dependent upon our clinicians' availability.

Will an OT come to my home in Illinois? 
No, we are not able to provide treatment in Illinois at this time, but you are welcome to visit our clinic in St. Louis.

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