Music therapy is an alternative therapy and an alternative inclusion to medical care, and can and does function in many different ways. Music Therapy can be used as a stand-alone therapy. As a stand-alone treatment, an individual, organization, group, or service provider can hire a board certified music therapist as a private therapist and engage in the treatment process 1:1 or for group sessions. This is done through the referral process. Just like hiring a psychologist, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a speech language pathologist, a psychotherapist, or any other medical or mental health professional, one only needs to fill out a referral form to begin the hiring/contracting process.
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Music therapy can be used as an integrative approach to medical and therapy care. A facility, organization, or group can hire a board certified music therapist to work within an interdisciplinary team member and have the music therapist’s data and input included as part of the treatment plan and process.  Music therapy is a very cost-effective healthcare treatment. While more studies will continue to be conducted, these studies that show how cost-effective music therapy is as a treatment:

  1. Walworth, D.D. (2005). Procedural-support music therapy in the healthcare setting: a cost effectiveness analysis. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 20(4), 276-84.
    1. MT had a 100% success rate of eliminating the need for sedation for pediatric patients receiving EEG; 80.7% success rate for pediatric CT scan without sedation; 94.1% success rate for all of the procedures
    2. The cost analysis resulted in the total per patient receiving music therapy being$13.21 and $87.45 for patients without music therapy = net savings of $74.24 (85%)
    3. The project resulted in saving 184 RN-hours for other duties
  2. Romo, R. & Gifford, L. (2007). A Cost-benefit analysis of music therapy in a home hospice. Nursing Economics, 25(6), 353-358.
    1. The total cost per patient in music therapy was $10,659 with $13,643 for a standard care patient, resulting in a cost savings of $2,984. The music therapy program cost $3,615, yielding a cost benefit ratio of 0.83. When using the cost per patient day, the cost benefit is 0.95
    2. 79% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the MT program increased their job satisfaction while 80% reported that knowing their company provided MT to its patients made their commitment to working with the company stronger
  3. Standley, J.& Walworth, D.D. (2005). Cost/Benefit Analysis of the Total Program, in J. Standley (Ed.), Medical Music Therapy, 33-40. AMTA.
    1. For the total expenditure in $57,600, the Florida State University affiliated music therapy/Arts in Medicine protocol in the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital reveal a total outlay for two partners of $17,247, or 70.1% of total savings
  4. Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, University of Georgia Hospital at Athens, University of North Carolina Medical Center, and Florida Hospital Orlando conducted a 5-year study (2001-2006) using the of PAL™ I (prototype) in their NICU Music Therapy Programs. Results yielded a 5-day reduction in the length of stay for NICU infants, which translates into a cost savings of $10,000 ($2,000 day)

Wellness (5)Music therapy is used as an integrative approach to medical and therapy care at the top adult and children’s hospitals across the United States and around the globe. Any facility, organization, or group can hire a board certified music therapist to work within an interdisciplinary team member or to provide care for their caregivers, counseling, and therapy staff. Even therapists, counselors, employers, and caregivers need a therapy or an outlet to help them cope with all they have heard and/or seen.