Nutrition Study Unveils Significant Cost Savings Opportunity for Healthcare Institutions

April 11, 2011

FLORHAM PARK, N.J., April 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new study conducted by the Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health at Tufts Medical Center concluded that variations in the administration of nutrition support can have a significant impact on health outcomes and the overall cost of care for critically ill adult hospital patients. The study addresses the serious issue of provision of adequate nutrition in U.S. hospital settings and offers healthcare practitioners nutritional strategies for improving care at a reasonable cost.

The study titled A Clinical and Economic Evaluation of Enteral Nutrition was recently published in Current Medical Research and Opinion.

Researchers based their findings on a meta-analysis of 48 randomized clinical trials comparing enteral nutrition (feeding through a tube to the gastrointestinal tract) with other forms of nutrition, or no nutrition. Although the difference in how nutrients are administered to patients may not seem to be an important aspect of caring for critically ill patients, the health and economic outcomes are significant. For example, the study found that use of enteral nutrition in critical care patients reduces the risk of major infections, major adverse events and hospital length of stay, saving up to almost $4,000 per patient when compared to parenteral nutrition (intravenous feeding). Total hospital length of stay for patients receiving enteral nutrition was nearly two days (1.66) less than those patients receiving parenteral nutrition.(i)

Since 1968, parenteral nutrition has provided a desperately needed solution for patients without a functional gastrointestinal tract, and has saved millions of lives worldwide. In patients with a functional gastrointestinal tract, enteral nutrition is the recommended nutrition support therapy because it is less invasive and reduces risk of infections.(ii)

The study clearly demonstrates the importance of selecting the appropriate nutrition intervention for the patient.

“We found that this simple change can deliver significant cost savings,” said Joshua Cohen, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor of Medicine, Tufts Medical Center, who led the research. “If just 10 percent of the 231,000 patients in the U.S. receiving parenteral nutrition switched to enteral nutrition each year, we’d reduce hospital lengths of stay by 38,000 days for a savings of $92 million.”

“This study demonstrates the need to provide optimal nutrition to aid the recovery of patients who cannot eat,” said Dr. Juan Ochoa, Medical and Scientific Director for Nestle Healthcare Nutrition. “It is clear that both enteral and parenteral nutrition will be necessary and advisable. Clarifying their roles will undoubtedly improve outcomes and result in significant health care cost-savings.”

About Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health (CEVR) at Tufts Medical Center

The Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health (CEVR) at Tufts Medical Center was established in December 2005 by Peter Neumann, ScD (Director) and Joshua Cohen, Ph.D. (Deputy Director) to analyze the benefits, risks, and costs of strategies to improve health and health care and to communicate the findings to clinicians and policymakers. CEVR is a member of the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts Medical Center, Boston.

About Nestle HealthCare Nutrition

Nestle HealthCare Nutrition offers nutritional solutions for people with specific dietary needs related to illnesses, disease states or the special challenges of different life stages. Nestle HealthCare Nutrition is part of Nestle Health Science S.A., which became operational on January 1, 2011 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nestle S.A.

To learn more about enteral nutrition and Nestle HealthCare Nutrition, please visit www.nestle-nutrition.com.

(i)Cangelosi et al.A clinical and economic evaluation of enteral nutrition. CMRO. 2010;27(2):413-422.

(ii)ASPEN SCCM Critical Care Guidelines.

SOURCE Nestle HealthCare Nutrition

Source: newswire

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