The cost of malnutrition: Nutrition program savings could add up to US$3,800 per patient

909a024c-68f4-4aa7-b235-2dc754ba6942articleimage.jpg

11 Aug 2017 --- The cost of poor nutrition has been laid bare by research published in the American Health & Drug Benefits journal and supported by healthcare company Abbott. The research shows that when not-for-profit healthcare system Advocate Health Care implemented a nutrition care program at four of its Chicago area hospitals in the US, cost savings hit more than US$4.8 million due to shorter hospital stays and lower readmission rates.

“Value-based care means looking comprehensively at patient care to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement,” says Lee Sacks, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Advocate Health Care. “The study's findings demonstrate that modest changes in the way we care for patients, such as ensuring patients are nourished during their hospital stay, can have a big impact in reducing costs and improving health outcomes.”

In 2014, Advocate Health Care started two models of a nutrition care program for patients at-risk of malnutrition, and the results from this study – published in December 2016 – found that doing so reduced 30-day readmission rates by 27 percent and the average hospital stay by nearly two days. To evaluate the cost savings of this program, researchers used a web-based budget impact model to determine the potential cost savings from the avoided readmissions and reduced time in the hospital.

Compared to the hospitals’ previous readmission rates and patients’ average length of stay, researchers found that optimizing nutrition care in the four hospitals resulted in roughly US$3,800 of cost savings per patient treated for malnutrition.

Dealing with malnutrition is now a growing concern, as it has been found that one in three people enter the hospital malnourished or at risk of malnutrition. Decades of research have proven that when patients are poorly nourished, it can impact their recovery, including a higher risk of complications – such as pressure ulcers, infections and falls – and more frequent readmissions.

Studies also show that poor nutrition can cause increased costs of care and longer hospital stays, with the average hospital stay costing nearly US$2,000 per day. As a result, different hospitals and health care systems are looking at the value of nutrition to improve care and help patients get back to living healthier lives.

“This research confirms that implementing nutrition-focused quality improvement programs, like the ones at Advocate Health Care, can help patients recover from their hospitalization faster while also removing some of the burden of financial pressures placed on health systems today,” says Suela Sulo, Ph.D., a health outcomes researcher at Abbott and lead author of the cost impact study. “As providers, administrators and payers face added pressures from rising healthcare costs, value-based nutrition interventions should be considered in all hospitals across the US.”

The benefits of nutrition on healthcare costs are not only being explored in the US, but also in Europe. A report by Frost & Sullivan, commissioned by Food Supplements Europe, found earlier this year that calcium and vitamin D food supplements could lead to big savings. The report put the total avoidable osteoporosis-related costs per year at €3.96 billion (US$4.66 billion). There is also mounting evidence that billions of euros worth of healthcare costs associated with cardiovascular disease could be avoided with more widespread food supplementation among target publications across the EU.

By Paul Creasy

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

Weekly Digest: Probiotics reduce bone loss in older women, Optibiotix expands reach in Italy

22 Jun 2018 --- This week in nutrition, Australian Whole Grain Week launched a new diet database in the hope to enhance healthy diets across the country. In research news, UK scientists warn that the normalization of plus-size body shapes may undermine obesity reduction efforts, while probiotics were found to have a significant protective effect for the bones of older women, and further research found that four cups of coffee seemed to protect the heart. Optimum Nutrition and Faber embarked on a campaign to improve American travel snacking habits and Optibiotix and Alfasigma partnered to commercialize Optibiotix's probiotic supplement in Italy. Lastly, this year’s Institute of Food Technologist (IFT18) in Chicago, US, will see NZMP launching a new milk protein ingredient and Lycored delivering some excitement on the floor with “culinary art.”

Nutrition & Health News

DSM’s Nutrition Improvement focus: Fresh thinking on global nutrition and food fortification

15 Jun 2018 --- “We work with our customers and the larger malnutrition-fighting community to treat and prevent malnutrition,” Anthony Hehir, Director of DSM’s Nutrition Improvement Business Segment, tells NutritionInsight. Using its solid science and technical heritage, DSM is striving to fight global malnutrition through its “business with a purpose” approach. NutritionInsight spoke to Hehir, gaining an insight into what drives the company’s staple food fortification technologies, research and future nutrition endeavors. 

Nutrition & Health News

Older Americans have a strong appetite for health but face barriers, says nutrition survey

14 Jun 2018 --- Amid rising levels of the over fifties managing more than one chronic disease, US citizens are tuning into their health and nutrition more than ever, an International Food Information Council (IFIC) study has found. Heart health and muscle health proved to be the two most concerning topics for this age group, at 80 and 75 percent respectively, while brain health and having enough energy were equally essential health topics at 74 percent. The seniors are clearly demonstrating strong health goals but also a lack of understanding of how to achieve them.

Nutrition & Health News

British Nutrition Foundation: UK adults have lack of time for nutrition, “confusion” is widespread

13 Jun 2018 --- New research from the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) reveals that 43 percent of adults admit that they find it difficult to find reliable information on healthy diets, with changing information, messages and advice from media and experts being the biggest causes for confusion (76 percent and 61 percent respectively). UK adults also show a desire for health and weight management but find that work stress and lack of time are barriers to this.

Nutrition & Health News

Vitafoods Europe visitor numbers up 6 percent, cross-over themes in nutraceuticals trend

13 Jun 2018 --- Vitafoods Europe (Geneva, May 2018) has strongly established itself as one of the major events on the nutrition calendar, with significant growth in the dedicated show space in the last couple of years. The show attracted over 20,000 visitors, with attendance numbers reflecting a six percent increase from the previous year as well as exhibitor numbers also growing 8 percent from 2017. Vitafoods also demonstrated the expansion of nutraceuticals into other market areas such as foods, pharma, cosmetics and personalization.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/the-cost-of-malnutrition-nutrition-program-savings-could-add-up-to-us3800-per-patient.html