Posted on Sep 27, 2013, 6 a.m.
Nutritional intervention with oral dietary supplements may reduce the length of hospital stays by as much as 21%.
Stays in a hospital can often be lengthy, and some conditions have a high readmission risk. Tomas Philipson from the University of Chicago (Illinois, USA), and colleagues analyzed more than 1 million adult inpatient cases in the United States, and found that patients provided oral nutritional supplements during hospitalization benefited from: 21% , or 2.3 day, reduction in length of stay; and 21.6%, or $4,734, reduction in patient hospitalization cost. Additionally, there was a 6.7% 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. Writing that: “Use of [oral nutritional supplements] decreases length of stay, episode cost, and 30-day readmission risk in the inpatient population,” the lead author submits that: "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."
Tomas J. Philipson, Julia Thornton Snider, Darius N. Lakdawalla, Benoit Stryckman, Dana P. Goldman. “Impact of Oral Nutritional Supplementation on Hospital Outcomes.” American Journal of Managed Care 2013;19(2):121-128.