Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2016

Academic Department

Occupational Therapy


The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 marked a substantial evolution of the health care system in the United States (The Executive Office of the President of the United States, 2014). There was a considerable amount of literature speculating on the proposed effects of the Affordable Care Act on occupational therapy (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2014a; Braveman & Metzler, 2012); however, little evidence exists regarding the outcomes of the ACA especially for occupational therapists in private practice. The present study aims to examine the implications of the Affordable Care Act on private practice occupational therapy.

Through interviews with seven occupational therapists in private practice, researchers used content analysis to extract themes within interviews. Analysis of interviews identified various effects of the ACA on occupational therapists in private practice including, but not limited to, trends in prevention, increased cost-sharing to consumers and decreased utilization, no Accountable Care Organization participation from any participant, increased insurance complexities, increased need to stay informed and advocate for OT to consumers, and increased time and finances required to maintain practice.


Senior Thesis.