• Reduce Hospital Stays For Those With Lung Disease: Nutritional Supplements

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    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of death and disability in the US. Patients with COPD are at high risk of nutritional deficiency, which is associated with declines in respiratory function, lean body mass and strength, and immune function. Although oral nutritional supplements (ONS) have been associated with improvements in some of these domains, the impact of hospital ONS on readmission risk, length of stay (LOS), and cost among hospitalized patients is unknown.

    People aged 65 and older, who were being treated for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the hospital and received nutrition treatment (oral nutrition supplements) had reduced lengths of stay, hospital costs and chances of returning to the hospital within 30-days.

    Nutrition treatment = better outcomes

    The current study, which was supported by Abbott, evaluated Medicare patients, 65 and older, who were hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COPD. The study demonstrates that when older patients with COPD received nutrition treatment in the hospital, it reduced their length of stay by 1.88 days (21.5 percent) and total hospital costs by $1,570 (12.5%) on average, compared to those who did not receive nutrition treatment. When looking at the likelihood of readmission within 30 days, the people who received nutrition treatment had a 13.1% reduction in 30-day readmission.

    “Our findings suggest that screening seniors in the hospital for malnutrition risk and providing cost-effective treatment for …

    In the US, one in five Medicare patients is readmitted to a hospital each year at an estimated cost of $17.5 billion annually. To reduce this impact, the Affordable Care Act has introduced hospital penalties based on readmissions conditions that commonly affect patients aged 65 and older — including acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure and pneumonia.

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