Perceptions of Occupational Therapists on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Five Years After Its Enactment

Academic Article


  • This study explored the perceptions of occupational therapists regarding the impact and implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or ACA) on occupational therapy practice. Fifteen occupational therapists participated in an interview to answer open-ended questions related to their thoughts and perceptions regarding the impact and implications of the ACA on their practice. The participants were practicing in eight different states and worked in five different settings with clinical experience ranging from 3 to 38 years; their positions ranged from staff therapist to owner of a free-standing outpatient clinic. Qualitative content analysis was used to synthesize the interview transcripts. Results showed that therapists did not have sufficient knowledge on the various mandates and provisions of the ACA, or were uncertain about what implications the ACA would have on practice, with the ACA affecting some settings more than others. Data revealed the perceived impacts of the ACA on occupational therapy practice include greater attention on documenting outcome-focused care, external accountability pressures on productivity, conscientiousness about clients' insurance coverage, uncertainty about collaborative care delivery, and survival of small businesses. Findings suggest training regarding knowledge about and implications of different elements of the ACA is needed as well as practices needing to promote the services that occupational therapists can provide to improve cost-effectiveness and outcomes in collaborative care environments.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Yuen HK; Spicher HS; Semon MR; Winwood LM; Dudgeon BJ
  • Start Page

  • 84
  • End Page

  • 97
  • Volume

  • 31
  • Issue

  • 1