Scope of Occupational Therapy practice may include Behavioral Health services

The Indiana Health Coverage Programs (IHCP) clarified that the scope of occupational therapy practice includes the provision of psychosocial interventions. It was further stated that occupational therapy can be included in the treatment plan of members receiving behavioral health treatment services. “The IHCP supports including occupational therapists on a substance use disorder (SUD) or behavioral health treatment team, when the occupational therapists provide services within their scope of licensure.”

Many state occupational therapy associations have advocated for recognition of occupational therapy practitioners in the mental health space. Some states recognize occupational therapists as qualified mental health practitioners (this terminology may vary from state to state), which allows for state-level reimbursement for those services, as well as the ability to supervise, complete evaluations, and provide interventions for individuals living with chronic mental illness. This recognition may not be an appropriate goal in every state – several states do not define mental health professionals at all or they may define it in such a way that OT practitioners would not want to be included in that definition. Several states have added language to their practice acts, consistent with the recently updated definition of occupational therapy, regarding occupational therapy’s role in mental health; advocated for reimbursement under Medicaid for OT mental health services; and discussed opportunities for OT and the role OT plays in mental health with other mental health provider associations in the state.

Information provided by The American Occupational Therapy Association