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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. http://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/CCTP. 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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