The Cost of OT: discharge planning

A blog about the cost of discharge placement/services.

As an OT, I feel like I am consistently advocating for higher levels of care, adaptive equipment and home modifications. Unfortunately, when family members raise questions and concerns about costs, I have often found my knowledge to be lacking. Hence I am composing this 3-part series on the costs associated with OT recommendations. Today's focus is the cost of discharge placement/services.

One of the perks of the health care industry, as it stands, is that I can make my professional discharge recommendations without being influenced by logistics. When details come up, I can simply refer clients to care managers. 

However, the extreme downside of this fragmentation is that we can become disassociated with the implications of our recommendations. We can forget that what is good for a person's iADL/ADL safety  can be devastating on their pocketbooks.  For example, after 6 months in a nursing home most people have spent their assets down to a meager $5,000.  Below are national averages, from a 2010 US News report, of the daunting daily/annual costs for increased level of care. 

Nursing home: 

  • Semi-private- $205/day ($74,825/year)

  • Private- $229/day ($83,585/year)

Assisted living:

  • $108/day ($39,516/year)

  • Memory support- $156/day ($57,144/year)

24/7 home care: 

  • $252/day ($91,980/year)

What do you think our professional responsibility is in understanding the costs of increased care and communicating with our clients about them?