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Nutrition Support Therapy Could Potentially Save the Medicare Program $580 Million

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Avalere’s findings were featured in the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.

On January 30, Avalere Health, in collaboration with the ASPEN Value Project, published “Value of Nutrition Support Therapy: Impact on Clinical and Economic Outcomes in the United States.” The research was conducted to better understand the role nutrition support for hospitalized patients may play in shaping financial and quality outcomes. The analysis modeled cost savings found in over a dozen studies that measured reductions in costly complications, readmissions, and hospital length of stay. These costs savings were modeled onto Medicare claims data to estimate how these reductions encountered in high quality studies could impact Medicare costs if nutrition support were to be provided to the same group of patients with specific diagnoses as indicated in the research.

When the projected savings were aggregated, Avalere found that Medicare could save as much as $580 million a year if nutrition support were provided to patients who were hospitalized with a diagnosis of sepsis, gastrointestinal cancer, or surgical complications, or had experienced a hospital-acquired infection.

To conduct the study, a literature search was completed for 13 specific disease or therapeutic conditions where nutrition support was administered and outcomes specifically linked to healthcare costs were measured. From the review of 1,099 articles, 5 conditions were selected. The team used Medicare claims data between October 2015 and June 2018 for the chosen conditions to extrapolate costs savings or increases for those patients who would have been provided nutrition support as indicated in the literature.

If you’d like additional information about our work in the nutrition care and clinical malnutrition space, check out the following Insights:

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