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PTs are playing an important role in reducing patient readmissions to hospitals. They could play an even a bigger one. Here's how.

In the pages of Physical Therapy last November,1 a physical therapist (PT) and a clinical psychiatrist asked the question, "Physical Therapy Information: Could It Reduce Hospital 30-Day Readmissions?" Their response was an emphatic "yes."

"Physical therapy provides a unique information-bearing relationship in the hospital setting," observed Jennifer Kreppein, PT, and Thomas Stewart, MD. "It involves hands-on, personal treatment often delivered by the same individual or team, which is an increasingly rare component in fragmented, technology-driven health care delivery."

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  1. Kreppein J, Stewart TD. Physical therapy: could it reduce hospital 30-day readmissions? Phys Ther. 2014;94:1680-1682.
  2. Smith JM, Bemis-Dougherty A. On "Physical therapy: could it reduce hospital 30-day readmissions?" Phys Ther. 2015;95:280-281.
  3. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Community-Based Care Transition Programs. Accessed August 14, 2015.
  4. Smith BA, Fields CJ, Fernandez N. Physical therapists make accurate and appropriate discharge recommendations for patients who are acutely ill. Phys Ther. 2010;90:693-703.
  5. Polnaszek B, Mirr J, Roiland R, Gilmore-Bykovskyi A, Hovanes M, Kind A. Omission of physical therapy recommendations for high-risk patients transitioning from the hospital to subacute care facilities. Arch Phys Med and Rehab. 2015. [publication pending]

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