Are you ready to build an effective aging-in-place / home accessibility team to grow your construction or design business?
"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships. ~ Michael Jordan
Why work with an occupational therapist?
- OT’s have access and trust of people aging-in-place and people with debilitating conditions.
- OT’s can bill for evaluations and off set costs of putting together a bid or design.
- OT’s take the guesswork out of accessibility.
- OT’s add credibility to your business.
- OT’s know how debilitating conditions and aging affect home accessibility needs. OT’s will help to ensure designs/modifications work now and in the future.
A contractor (builder, architect, interior designer, real estate agent etc.) and an occupational therapist can work together in many different capacities. Occupational therapist’s are a rich source of referrals and lend the credibility of a medical professional to your project or business. Occupational therapists know your target market and have their trust.
How the business relationship between the occupational therapist and the contractor operates depends on the agreement and needs of the occupational therapist and the contractor. Independent contractors working together benefit from having a joint venture agreement in place. A joint venture agreement increases trust in the relationship, promotes clearer communication and better business practices.
Occupational therapist's roles
The roles of an OT depend on the capacity in which the occupational therapist is operating.
Occupational therapist as a nursing home, home health or hospital employee
Occupational therapists that are employed by hospitals, home health companies or nursing homes typically perform therapeutic activities with the client to increase their safety, independence and function. Occupational therapists working in this capacity have an intimate understanding and strong trust relationship with the client and their family. OT’s in this role can act as consultants on home modification projects as an ancillary activity to providing therapy.
Occupational therapist ‘employees’ are paid by the organization for which they are employed, who then bills insurance for the occupational therapist’s services. Occupational therapist ‘employees’ are great resources for developing safe and functional homes. ‘Employee’ OT’s time is limited and they are often unable to invest significant time into the design/planning process due to budget constraints of their employer who is focused on reimbursement for therapy services. These health care professionals are often looking for contractors to refer to their patients.
Occupational Therapist as an independent contractor
OT’s are increasingly opening their own consultation businesses performing home evaluations for social agencies and working directly with contractors from other disciplines such as builders, architects, interior designers and real estate agents. OT’s will often ‘partner’ with a contractor on a project to consult on design requirements, fixtures and medical equipment.
OT’s that act as independent contractors are either paid a ‘fee for service’, paid for the products they procure or are paid a percentage of the total project cost. The OT’s fee is either paid directly by the client or by the contractor with whom they are partnering with on the project.
Occupational therapists as business partners
Partnering with an OT gives you added value and expertise over other contractors lending increased expertise, trust and credibility to your business as well as an added revenue stream-billing clients and insurance for the OT’s time. The advantages and expertise of the OT not only produces increased revenue by allowing for higher price points for projects but also makes the project easier to plan and execute because the OT will work with the client on design needs and placement of grab bars, fixtures etc, so the contractor can do what they do best.
There is no effective ‘cookie-cutter’ approach to home modifications for people who are aging or who have disabilities which causes headaches and perplexity, an OT can assist in ensuring the home modifications will be safe and tailored to your client’s needs-making everyone involved in the project look good.:-)
HMOTA newsletter & info
We regularly send out information for non-OT professionals, so you can join us for public meetings, classes or events. As one of our valued professionals, you will periodically receive updates about HOMOTA that will benefit you and your company.