Food supplements reduce hospital stay, cost


A new health economics outcomes study, conducted by leading health economists and supported by Abbott, found that oral nutritional supplements provided to patients during hospitalization could significantly reduce hospital stay by two days and save patients almost $5,000 (P210,000) in hospitalization cost.

“Research shows that using oral nutritional supplements can help reduce the length of stay and associated hospital costs. This is, indeed, good news for 4 out of 10 hospitalized Filipino patients who are nutritionally at risk since most of them shoulder their hospital expenses out of their own pockets,” according to Dr. Marianna Sioson, president of the Philippine Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.

Published in the American Journal of Managed Care, the study provides insights into the economic benefits of prescribing oral nutritional supplements to adult patients in the hospital setting.

The retrospective analysis utilized information from more than one million adult inpatient cases found in the 2000 – 2010 Premier Research Database representing a total of 44 million hospital episodes from across the United States or approximately 20 percent of all inpatient admissions there.

Benefits associated with patients provided oral nutrition supplements during hospitalization included 21 percent or 2.3 days reduction in length of stay and 21.6 percent or a $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 nutrition supplements during the previous hospitalization.

“Impaired nutritional status, especially in patients recovering from serious illnesses or surgery, can result in longer hospital stays, an increase in complication rates, higher readmission rates, and associated health care costs,” revealed Sioson.

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 stays with similar conditions where oral nutritional supplements were not prescribed.

“In an increasingly cost-pressured environment, health economics assessments can more comprehensively determine a therapy’s true value. Our results point to the tangible benefits of inpatient oral nutritional supplements on health outcomes and cost of care – factors that impact a hospital’s bottom line,” said study co-author Darius Lakdawalla PhD, Quintiles Chair in Pharmaceutical Development and Regulatory Innovation, University of Southern California (USC) School of Pharmacy, Sol Price School of Public Policy, and Director of Research, Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at USC.

“Because oral nutrition supplements are formulated to provide advanced nutrition and calories for compromised patients and are relatively inexpensive to provide, the sizeable savings they generate make supplementation a cost-effective therapy,” said study co-author Tomas Philipson PhD, Daniel Levin Chair of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.

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 69,000 people.


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