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Preoperative Physical Therapy:  How to decrease cost

3/15/18 8:25 AM


“Health-care costs following acute hospital care have been identified as a major contributor to regional variation in Medicare spending” (Snow et al., 2014). “Post-acute care spending accounted for 73% of the variation in spending, the next largest category, inpatient spending, accounted for 27% of variation in total spending across regions. Controlling variation in post-acute care spending is a major opportunity to decrease the total episode-of-care costs of joint replacement, and preoperative physical therapy use has been identified as a possible mechanism to decrease post-acute care utilization” (Snow et al., 2014).  


The article written by Ruhil Snow, PhD et al. was able to analyze a total of 4733 cases of patients who either received, or did not receive preoperative physical therapy. “In the cohort of patients receiving preoperative physical therapy, only 54.2% used some type of post-acute care services. For patients without preoperative physical therapy, 79.7% used post-acute care services. A significantly lower rate of post-acute care use was found in patients receiving preoperative physical therapy (p <0.0001)” (Snow et al., 2014).


Using the analysis of this study it can be estimated that individuals who utilize preoperative physical therapy can reduce their post-acute care use by at least 29% “resulting in an adjusted cost reduction of $1215” per-patient (Snow et al., 2014).


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Written by Erin Bolowsky, PT.

Erin Bolowsky, PT, DPT is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and currently accepting new patients in our Cicero Office.

Topics: joint replacement