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In their article on the convergence of music therapy and neuroscience, de l’Etoile and LaGasse (2013) discussed two critical discoveries taken from decades of evidence regarding music and the brain. First, the neural networks used for music are not only used for music, but are also used for many routine non-musical functions. Second, learning music alters the brain. Together, these findings support the use of music therapy in pediatric rehabilitation to facilitate functional movement; regulate attention, memory, and executive function; and promote the acquisition and rehabilitation of communication skills (de l’Etoile & LaGasse, 2013). It is important to become familiar with a facility’s mission and services, and present information that communicates how music therapy could help the facility better meet its mission and serve patients and their families. Patient-centered care is a high priority for most healthcare administrators. Providing clear information about research outcomes and neurological foundations of music therapy can help provide evidence supporting music therapy’s inclusion in patient-centered care. Although demonstrating music therapy's effectiveness is crucial, for many administrators who are interested in offering music therapy to their patients the question remains: How do we pay for it?




Decreased length of stay

Walworth et al., 2012

Decreased length of procedure

Walworth, 2005

Reduced need for medication

Walworth, 2005

Improved patient/family satisfaction

Gooding, Yinger, & Iocono, 2015; Yinger & Standley, 2011

Cost Effectiveness Cost-effectiveness is understandably a major concern of hospital administrator, due to the necessity of providing critical care services with limited time, staffing, and funding. Music therapy has been shown to be costeffective in several ways, including a) decreasing length of stay, b) decreasing length of medical procedures, c) reducing the need for medication, and d) improving patient/family satisfaction and perception of medical facilities. Research has shown that premature infants who receive music therapy go home 1 to 2 weeks sooner than infants who receive standard care (Walworth et al., 2012), decreasing length of stay and potentially saving $3,000 a day (Kornhauser & Schneiderman, 2010). Walworth (2005) found that children who received music therapy during echocardiograms had procedure times 40 minutes shorter on average than children who received standard care. By decreasing the lengths of procedures, healthcare facilities are able to schedule more procedures per day, which is cost-effective and allows for provision of services to more people. Children in Walworth’s 2005 study who received music therapy during medical procedures also required pharmacological sedation less often, saving money while decreasing the likelihood of adverse events from medications. Patient satisfaction has become increasingly important to healthcare facilities in recent years, particularly since 2010, when the Affordable Care Act made performance payments to healthcare facilities contingent, in part, on patient satisfaction (Millenson & Macri, 2012). There is evidence that music therapy improves patient/family satisfaction and perception of the healthcare facility (Gooding, Yinger, & Iocono, 2015). One study by Yinger and Standley (2011) showed that patients who received music therapy services had higher overall mean satisfaction scores on the Press Ganey Inpatient Survey than patients who did not receive music therapy. Pediatric patients who received music therapy had particularly high scores in relation to the national average, scoring 6.9 points higher, and those who received music therapy had overall satisfaction scores that were an average of 5.4 points higher than patients from the same hospital who did not receive music therapy (Yinger & Standley, 2011). By improving patient/ family satisfaction, music therapists help healthcare facilities ensure that they will receive funding for the

Table 2. Cost-Effectiveness Evidence.

imagine 7(1), 2016


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imagine 2016  

In this issue, over 70 authors from 12 countries share their dedication and passion for early childhood music therapy with imagine readers....

imagine 2016  

In this issue, over 70 authors from 12 countries share their dedication and passion for early childhood music therapy with imagine readers....