Oral nutritional supplements demonstrate significant health and cost benefits, says a new study. Analysis of more than 1 million adult hospital cases revealed 21 percent reduction in length of hospital stay and cost with nutritional intervention, reports a news study explained in the August 30, 2013 news release, “Oral nutritional supplements demonstrate significant health and cost benefits.” You can check out the original study or its abstract, “The Impact of Oral Nutritional Supplementation on Hospital Outcomes,” recently published in the American Journal of Managed Care: AJMC.
A recent health economics and outcomes study, conducted by leading health economists and supported by Abbott, found that oral nutritional supplements provided to patients during hospitalization were associated with significant reductions in length of stay and hospitalization cost. Additionally, the 30-day readmission risk was significantly reduced for patients with at least one known subsequent readmission.
The study is being presented this weekend at the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) annual congress in Leipzig, Germany, where it will be highlighted as one of the conference’s three “Best Abstracts.” The meeting is a leading conference in clinical nutrition, bringing together participants from more than 80 countries.
The study analyzed more than 1 million adult inpatient cases in the U.S., and found that patients provided oral nutritional supplements during hospitalization benefited from the following information:
- 21 percent, or 2.3 day, reduction in length of stay
- 21.6 percent, or $4,734, reduction in patient hospitalization cost
Additionally, there was a 6.7 percent reduction in the probability of a 30-day readmission in patients who had at least one known subsequent readmission and were provided oral nutritional supplements during the previous hospitalization. The study, which also was recently published in the American Journal of Managed Care: AJMC, provides insights into the economic benefits of prescribing oral nutritional supplements to adult patients in the hospital setting.
“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,” explains Marinos Elia, MD, BSc Hon, FRCP, Professor of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism at University of Southamptonl, in the August 30, 2013 news release, Oral nutritional supplements demonstrate significant health and cost benefits. “Research demonstrates that oral nutritional supplementation can lead to highly positive economic benefits and improved patient outcomes.”
In the study, investigators were able to determine differences in length of stay and costs by comparing hospital stays where oral nutritional supplements were prescribed to patients with similar conditions where oral nutritional supplements weren’t prescribed
It’s rare you find major studies on nutritional supplements compared to the many grants to develop prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicines rather than advanced nutritional supplements and plant extracts. “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,” says study co-author, Tomas Philipson PhD, Daniel Levin Chair of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, according to the news release.
“In today’s outcome conscious hospital environment, Abbott is committed to delivering products that improve the quality of care for patients and also help reduce health care costs,” says Robert H. Miller, PhD, divisional vice president, Global Research and Development and Scientific Affairs for Abbott Nutrition, according to the news release. “In addition to the numerous retrospective studies focused on health economics and outcomes research in our pipeline, nearly all of our clinical research studies now include an economic analysis to help demonstrate a nutritional therapy’s total value proposition.”
Impact of nutritional supplements on hospital outcomes
You can check out the original study or its abstract, “The Impact of Oral Nutritional Supplementation on Hospital Outcomes.” The study is a retrospective data analysis on the effect of oral nutritional supplements on hospital economic outcomes.
This study compared hospital stays where oral nutritional supplements were provided with similar hospital stays that did not provide oral nutritional supplements. The difference between length of hospital stay and cost of treatment (including supplies, labor, depreciation of equipment, and more) were measured. The probability of 30-day hospital readmission also was calculated.
The retrospective analysis utilized information from more than one million adult inpatient cases found in the Premier Research Database from 2000 – 2010, maintained by the Premier healthcare alliance – representing a total of 44 million hospital episodes from across the United States or approximately 20 percent of all inpatient admissions in the United States. The full sample consisted of adults 18 years and older and focused on oral feeding interventions only.
The matched sample ultimately included: 1,160,088 total episodes (oral nutritional supplements episodes N= 580,044 and non-oral nutritional supplements episodes N=580,044), where propensity score matching and instrumental variables were used to address potential bias due to non-random selection. For more than 85 years, Abbott Nutrition has been developing and marketing science-based nutritional products to support the growth, health and wellness of people of all ages.
Internationally recognized brands include the Similac® brand of infant formulas; the Gain® brand of growing-up milks; the PediaSure® brand of complete and balanced nutrition for children; and the Ensure® brand of complete and balanced nutrition for adults. The company is a leader in nutritional products clinically shown to address the distinct dietary needs of people with serious health conditions or special nutrient requirements, such as the Glucerna® brand of nutrition shakes and bars for people with diabetes.
Abbott is a global healthcare company devoted to improving life through the development of products and technologies that span the breadth of healthcare. With a portfolio of leading, science-based offerings in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic pharmaceuticals, Abbott serves people in more than 150 countries and employs approximately 70,000 people.