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New York Occupational Therapy Prescriptions and Referrals

Occupational therapists can perform occupational therapy evaluations without a referral or prescription.

To implement an OT treatment plan, you must have a referral or prescription from a licensed health care provider acting within his or her scope of practice.

An occupational therapy treatment program "designed to restore function" must be rendered on the prescription or referral of a physician, nurse practitioner or other health care provider acting within his or her scope of practice.

An OT treatment program that is not restoring a function can be provided without a prescription, and this would apply typically to school age children receiving therapy to assist them in developing functions they do not currently possess. Treatment programs involving handwriting, literacy and learning disorders are examples of such therapy.

However, a treatment program for adults, who have lost function due to a stroke or accident and who require therapy to restore their ability to perform activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing and household mobility, would still only be able to be performed after receipt of a prescription or referral.

The referral/prescription becomes part of the record which the occupational therapist must maintain for each patient/client he or she serves.


NY OT Practice Guidelines

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