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Reduced Readmissions—In a Bottle?

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, November 1, 2013

Snider was the project leader on the study, which came about after an earlier study found strong benefits to providing oral nutrition supplements to the general inpatient population.

"That [study] basically looked at the general inpatient population and found that providing oral nutrition supplements had impressive benefits on reduced readmissions and reduced length of stay. But while it's interesting in the general patient population, hospitals don't see a general patient. They see someone with a specific diagnosis or diagnoses. They wanted to know who to apply it to," Snider says.

Now they have at least a partial answer.

The newer study, presented last week at the Society for Medical Decision Making meeting in Baltimore, showed that providing oral nutritional supplements was associated with the decreased probability of 30-day readmission among Medicare patients. The study further breaks down results from that population based on diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and pneumonia, which are among the diagnoses CMS penalizes hospitals for based on 30-day readmission rates.

The results are compelling. Among them:

  • An 8.4% reduction for patients with any diagnosis
  • A 10.1% reduction for congestive heart failure patients
  • A 12% reduction for acute myocardial infarction patients
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