Study: Oral Nutritional Supplements Reduce Readmission Risk, Cost

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Inpatients who received oral nutritional supplements, such as nutrition drinks, had a shorter length of stay, lower costs and a lower readmission risk than patients who did not receive supplements, according to a study in the American Journal of Managed Care.

The study, supported by healthcare company Abbott, examined adult inpatient cases in the Premier Perspectives database from 2000 to 2010. ONS patients' length of stay was 8.6 days — 21 percent less than non-ONS patients' 10.9-day length of stay. At $17,216, the cost of care for ONS patients was 21.6 percent less than the cost for non-ONS patients, which was $21,950.

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When looking at only those patients who were readmitted at some point, ONS patients had a 6.7 percent lower likelihood of being readmitted early, defined as within 30 days, compared with non-ONS patients.

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