A new study has found that oral nutritional supplements given to patients during hospitalization are associated with a reduction in length of stay and incurred costs during hospitalization.
The study, supported by Abbott, is scheduled to be highlighted at the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) annual congress in Leipzig, Germany, and was published in the American Journal of Managed Care.
In it, investigators looked at over a million adult inpatient cases in the U.S. They found that when patients received oral nutritional supplements during hospitalization, they enjoyed:
- A 21 percent reduction in length of hospitalization (average: 2.3 days)
- A 21.6 percent reduction in hospitalization cost (average: $4,734)
Said Marinos Elia, MD, BSc Hon, FRCP, Professor of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism at University of Southampton:
Patients identified as having nutritional deficiencies often face a longer and more difficult recovery process, resulting in higher health care costs and an increase in complication rates. Research demonstrates that oral nutritional supplementation can lead to highly positive economic benefits and improved patient outcomes.
The study, entitled ″Impact of Oral Nutritional Supplementation on Hospital Outcomes' was a retrospective data analysis on the effect of oral nutritional supplements on hospital outcomes from an economic perspective. Researchers examined the differences in length of stay and costs by looking at whether or not oral nutritional supplements were prescribed to patients with similar conditions.
Added study co-author Tomas Philipson Ph.D., Daniel Levin Chair of Public Policy at the University of Chicago:
Because oral nutritional supplements are formulated to provide advanced nutrition and calories for patients and are relatively inexpensive to provide, the sizeable savings they generate make supplementation a cost-effective therapy.