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Occupational Therapy in Modern Healthcare Market

Introduction and Service Description

Nowadays, private companies that provide health care services have been embraced by society as a means of choosing the best service option through market competition and a free market. For these reasons, more people are now willing to address specialty healthcare facilities when faced with a long-term health challenge. Rehabilitation of children with special needs is one of the challenges that require meaningful and constant professional supervision and emotional support. When unable to participate in daily activities, children with special needs feel “marginalization, social isolation and lowered self-esteem” (Novak and Honan 258).

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Occupational therapy, which stands for the health care intervention that seeks to help patients regain autonomy in performing daily activities such as dressing, eating, moving around, and performing social activities, is one of the most significant ways to assist children with special needs (Wilson and Harris). Hence, this proposal seeks to evaluate the market relevance for an occupational therapy provider in a health care clinic specializing in assisting children who struggle with activities of daily living.

The service’s primary objective is to provide long-term care and therapy for children willing to reintegrate into society and their parents. Indeed, the research demonstrates that occupation-based therapy is a valuable tool for improving children’s “sensory processing, emotional regulation, executive functioning, and social function” (Pfeiffer et al. 1). Thus, occupational therapy for children is an extremely beneficial tool in terms of rehabilitation. The uniqueness of the current service includes round-the-clock support and an innovative approach. Considering the modern context of social isolation, this occupational service provides the ability to incorporate telemedicine services into the therapeutic intervention to secure improvement and support even without face-to-face interaction with the professional. Thus, despite the popularity of occupational therapy in the market, the value of this service is its patient-oriented approach and holistic care.

Target Market and Customer Profile

The primary demographic for the present service is children diagnosed with developmental disabilities that affect their autonomy and performance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over the period from 2009 to 2017, one in six children was diagnosed with a developmental disability (para. 2). Moreover, the percentage of diagnosed children has increased compared to the previous decade. Hence, there is currently a healthcare market demand for cost-efficient and effective occupational therapy for children.

However, a significant barrier to finding clients for occupational therapy is the cost of the practice. A health insurance plan generally covers a limited number of occupational therapy sessions when it comes to the long-term treatment of disabilities, securing a copayment of nearly 10% (“Occupational Therapy Cost”). When not covered by insurance, the cost of one session can be as high as $500. Considering that children with special needs require a long-term recovery with regular therapy interventions, the annual costs of therapy can be nearly $50,000, with two to three visits per week.

Hence, the household income of the child’s parents needs to be up to $100,000 per year in order to afford out-of-pocket sessions. In this case, the customer’s profile may be described as follows: a target customer for the service is the parent of a child with special needs that has stable employment, a health insurance plan, and the ability to pay for occupational therapy either out of pocket or under the social security disability programs. Although the customers are encouraged to live in the area near the facility, telehealth communication allows for remote counseling.

Competitors and Services

The rapidly increasing number of occupational therapists encourages competition between the service providers, creating the opportunity for customers to find affordable therapy providers. Currently, the field of occupational therapy is comprised of private practitioners, state hospital professionals, and school-based occupational therapists. The latter is especially in demand, as frequently, occupational therapists at schools provide free services to children with special needs. Their service is funded by federal, state, or local funds. The private sector of occupational therapy is also growing rapidly, and this growth is expected to accelerate over the next decade (“Global Occupational Therapy Market”).

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The US and Canada are currently the most popular markets for the service due to the high level of awareness. According to Data Bridge Market Research, “some of the major players operating in the occupational therapy market report are WebPT, Premise Health., Net Health, CLINICIENT, Optima Health Care, Inc., ClinicSource, Accord Medical Products” and others (“Global Occupational Therapy Market” para. 13). Hence, the competition for business is extremely high, so it is necessary to present benefits to the customer, including both cost leadership and product differentiation.


Having considered the evidence above, it may be concluded that providing occupational therapy is a service in demand in the modern healthcare market. However, the constantly increasing competition in this market segment requires innovation and unique features of the product. The service in question presents a series of assets to the customer, including a patient-oriented approach, round-the-clock professional support, and telehealth connection options. When targeted at middle-class families having children with special needs, the business might have a competitive advantage in the market.

Works Cited

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Increase in Developmental Disabilities Among Children in the United States”. CDC, 2021. Web.

Global Occupational Therapy Market”. Data Bridge Market Research, 2022. Web.

Novak, Iona, and Ingrid Honan. “Effectiveness of Paediatric Occupational Therapy for Children with Disabilities: A Systematic Review.” Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, vol. 66, no. 3. 2019, pp. 258-273.

Occupational Therapy Cost”. Cost Helper Health, n.d. Web.

Pfeiffer, Beth, Gloria Frolek Clark, and Marian Arbesman. “Effectiveness of Cognitive and Occupation-Based Interventions for Children with Challenges in Sensory Processing and Integration: A Systematic Review.” The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, vol. 72, no. 1, 2018, pp. 1-9.

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Wilson, Andrea L., and Susan R. Harris. “Collaborative Occupational Therapy: Teachers’ Impressions of the Partnering for Change (P4C) Model.” Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, vol. 38, no. 2, 2018, pp. 130-142.

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