What Comes After Thursday? FUNCTIONAL FRIDAYS, Occupational Therapy

Photo by Kevin Jarrett on Unsplash

Hide the cones, hide the rings, and all the preparatory things.

AOTA had an interesting post about Cody LaRue, MS, OTR/L, who was inspired to institute a new practice called “Functional Fridays” at his facility in Petersburg, VA.

“Our emphasis is always on function,” LaRue says. “But sometimes having certain preparatory activities within reach can cause temptations to use a less than optimal modality for our clients.”

What did LaRue and his team do? They decided to hide all the preparatory materials in a closet and challenge each OT to be more occupation-based. This provided the team with an opportunity to learn as a group, problem solve and come up with new ideas, and ultimately, provide more meaningful occupations. As a result, LaRue noticed an overall increase in functional treatment.

This approach will become more evident and important as the industry shifts to a new payment system.

Starting October 1, 2019, SNFS will no longer be reimbursed at higher rates for higher volume of OT treatment, but instead get reimbursed based on quality outcomes from high-value services.

The aim is lower readmissions, decreased falls, decreased pressure ulcers, safe discharge to the community, and decreased overall spending by Medicare. The fundamentals of OT and occupations based on function allow it to be a very special and vital profession in this upcoming change with Medicare.

How can you incorporate “Functional Fridays Everydays” into your practice, no matter the setting?



Jeff is a licensed occupational therapist and lead content creator for OT Dude. He covers all things occupational therapy as well as other topics including healthcare, wellness, mental health, technology, science, sociology, and philosophy. Buy me a Coffee on Venmo.