I love stories, don’t you? I love that magical point when you cannot put down a book or when you realize you’re holding your breath at the edge of your seat ready to explode to aid the protagonist (main character) over the climactic struggle towards the end of the movie or book. Whether it’s the classic struggle between good vs. evil, the growth of a character through struggle and adversity, or the saying “goodbye” for the final time, we get to join a character in an adventure that is outside of our own. Read more

Did you know your bones are alive?  Bones are made of living, breathing cells growing tissue.  Throughout life you will continue to lose bone and make new bone.  After age 30, your bone loss actually speeds up.  As you continue to age, you can end up losing more bone than you’re forming.  Osteoporosis happens when you lose too much bone or make too little bone or both. Read more

The Q4FY15 release of the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report (PEPPER) with statistics through September 2015 is now available for download through the PEPPER Resources Portal. To obtain your SNF’s PEPPER, the Chief Executive Officer, President, Administrator or Compliance Officer of your organization should:

  1. Review the Secure PEPPER Access Guide.
  2. Review the instructions and obtain the information required to authenticate access. Note: A new validation code will be required. A patient control number or medical record number from a claim for a traditional Medicare FFS beneficiary with a “from” or “through” date in September 1-30, 2015 will be required.
  3. Visit the PEPPER Resources Portal.
  4. Complete all the fields.
  5. Download your PEPPER.

The SNF PEPPER will be available to download for approximately two years.

Revised in this release: The “Therapy RUGs” target area has been discontinued.



PEPPER is an educational tool that summarizes provider-specific data statistics for Medicare services that may be at risk for improper payments. Providers can use the data to support internal auditing and monitoring activities. PEPPER is distributed by TMF® Health Quality Institute under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Occupational therapists will tell you that their job is rewarding, fulfilling, complex, and always a challenge, which is why they love it. They will also be glad to know that their future looks secure and strong with a very positive occupational therapy job outlook on this satisfying career. Growth is strong and the trends of an increase in the needs for mental illness and disability care givers demonstrate that occupational therapy looks promising for the foreseeable outlook.

Occupational Therapy Surveys and Statistics

While it’s always fraught with risk trying to predict the future outcome of a career, those who are considering post-acute care or other types of wellness professions would be buoyed by the statistics that have been made available.

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) recently conducted a survey of new graduates among their members. The question was posed as to how long after graduation did their first job offer arrive. An enormous 86% responded by saying that they had received their first job offer within 3 months of graduating. A staggering 97% said that they had job offers within 6 months of graduation with over half reporting that their first offer was less than a month after school finished. These respondents also said that at least 5 out 6 therapists were able to land their first job in their preferred practice setting. That means that 85% of graduates with an occupational therapy registered certificate were able to get their first preference of a job within 6 months. Those numbers are incredible to take in and speak volumes about the occupational therapy job outlook.

The perception of the field has played a strong role in this trend. Survey respondents were asked to rate their perception of the strength of the job market for occupational therapists. Almost 75% of the responses were Strong to Very Strong in relation to positions available and positions found. Although these responses were subjective and biased towards those who were already members of an OT association, they are backed up by empirical data as well.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has said that they projected rise in employment for occupational therapists until 2022 is expected to be a 29% increase, a figure which is shown to be significantly better than many other fields. As the population grows, diseases like Alzheimer’s, cerebral palsy, autism, or a loss of limbs or motor function will also increase. There are projections that also show that within the autism scale, high-functioning autism (HFA) patients are also demanding more OT’s and OTA’s.

Long Term Care Growth

OT’s will tell you that they work with a minority group that anybody could enter at any time. Disabilities, hospitalizations, stress or accidents could all result in needing long term care. As the needs grow for those in this group, so does the need for a professional to manage and care for their long-term needs. This is aided by the fact that every year, occupational therapy is added to health care plans and is becoming prevalent throughout society.

Occupational therapy can take place in the school systems, but there are also OTs who work in nursing homes, assisted living, home health, outpatient therapy care centers, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and private practices. There are free football betting tips opening fields of interest in prisons, community settings, return to work programs at employment centers or even occupational therapists employed for the care of employees in an office environment. These fields continue to expand every year as the need grows for long term care in these areas.  In particular, occupational therapy in post-acute care is on the rise due to the influx of the 76.4 million baby boomers entering into the senior care industry.  Occupational therapy in assisted living settings as well as short-term rehabilitation is continually booming and becoming increasingly popular.

Growth in Public Interest for OTs and OTAs

Employees with a degree in this field are enjoying the current climate of a more health-conscious public. People are becoming more aware of their body and their needs. OTs and OTAs offer the public a holistic approach to the needs of anybody from newborn infants to the elderly in nursing homes. Governments and corporate bodies are also taking an increased interest in this field. The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) has reported that private insurance companies have expanded their coverage to include treatment from an occupational therapist. The Canadian government has recognized the need to stop treating the symptoms and diseases and start promoting wellness that anybody can enjoy. OTs are now seen as necessary to lower medical costs and boost the general health of everyone.

Increased Innovation and Techniques

Moore’s Law states that computing power doubles every 18 months because of increases in technology. This boom of innovation and technology has had a greater impact on occupational therapists as well. For the 25% of OTs who are considering furthering their field through research and telehealth, the future looks bright.

With crowdsourcing options such as Kickstarter or GoFundMe, smaller companies have removed the barrier to entry of large capital or corporate backing formerly needed to innovate new tools and products. Small businesses are designing new wheelchairs, private practices can fund new specialized products for better wellness, and the knowledge of techniques and practices only spreads faster and faster as the internet is more globally available. Countries around the world are now seeking to coordinate and collaborate their knowledge through papers and conferences held around the world.

For those who are employed in this field, or those who are considering a degree in occupational therapy or therapy oversight, the outlook of this career looks good. It’s entirely populated by fiercely compassionate people who have a deep philanthropy and love for humanity. Because of this passion and drive, innovators will make the occupational therapy job outlook only grow in demand and perception.

If you have more questions, or you’re looking for a career in the occupational therapy field, contact the friendly team at HTS today. They have first-hand knowledge of the outlook and upcoming trends of this field.

As we tour the Midwest, networking with students and therapists, we are often prompted with questions regarding finding a job and making sure it’s a good fit. However, the most popular question continues to be, “how and when do I have that uncomfortable conversation about money?” You’re looking to find that delicate balance between knowing your worth and not appearing greedy so as to make a good impression on your potential employer. To follow you will find some tips and ideas to help that conversation go a little more smoothly: Read more


Economic health directly impacts job trends, but jobs in some market sectors are relatively unaffected by economic downturns. Those jobs are in industries which are driven more by demographics than by economics. One of these sectors, the healthcare industry, is experiencing growth primarily tied to population factors as baby boomers age and as Generation X spawns its own next generation. Read more

For everything there is a season. Sports, farming, fashion … What about “fall” season? Does the time of year affect the types of injuries therapists may be treating in their older patients? Falls are a main cause of injury among older adults, and research shows that about half of all falls among older adults happen when they’re outside, where the seasonal impact of weather conditions would be a factor. Many falls do not cause injuries, but one out of five falls does cause a serious injury, such as a broken bone or a head injury, that would result in a need for therapy to promote recovery. Read more

During a recent college visit, we were prompted with this question: how do you know if a company is reputable if you’re not from the area? Many times, newly licensed therapists consider positions in different cities and states from where they grew up or attended school. Pursuing an opportunity out of your geographic comfort zone poses excellent potential opportunities including: landing a job in your desired setting, growing and developing as a person and a therapist, and a chance for a fresh start. However, sometimes it’s difficult to determine if the new position you’re considering will actually be in your best interest in the long run. Here are some tips for finding and vetting a new company: Read more

Check the news headlines and you can’t avoid seeing stories – usually negative – that essentially involve cultural clashes: wars, immigration debates, police-involved shootings, terrorism, the list goes on. In healthcare, there are similar clashes. A child taken from its parents because the parents disagree with doctors about cancer treatment, a patient who chooses alternative remedies rather than conventional treatments, even healthcare affordability and accessibility; all involve cultural issues. Read more

By: Emily King, OTR, Clinical Consultant

Dementia/Memory Care

Dementia is one of the leading causes for placing a loved one in long term care. Nearly 60% of all nursing home elders have dementia and many individuals are concerned about the quality of memory care in nursing homes across the country. Healthcare Therapy Services, Inc. (HTS) recognizes the growing number of elders who suffer from memory impairments, and prepares their therapists to provide quality care through intense cognitive therapy educational trainings. These trainings are based on the theoretical frame of reference by Claudia Allen called the Cognitive Disabilities Model, which focuses on recognizing and reinforcing the use of remaining abilities. The therapists conduct formalized testing within this model to identify the elder’s current cognitive level. Based on the cognitive level established through testing, therapy staff and other care partners adapt activities, adjust approaches, modify the environment, and implement appropriate communication strategies. This evidence based treatment model helps eliminate trial and error treatment techniques and promotes each person’s best ability to function. Other training opportunities regularly offered to HTS teams include the Virtual Dementia Tour®—a Hands-on Dementia Experience and Positive Approach to Care.™ Read more