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Jun 19 2014
Oral Nutritional Supplements Improve Outcomes for Patients with COPD

Recent data presented June 3 in a poster session at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) 19th Annual Meeting in Montreal, Quebec provides new evidence that oral nutritional supplements (ONS) is effective in reducing length of stay (LOS), hospital costs and risk of readmission in Medicare patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

According to the American Lung Association, COPD is a progressive and debilitating lung disease affecting between 12.7 and 14.7 million adults over the age of 18.1 As such, COPD is now the third leading cause of death in the U.S., is responsible for more than 715,000 hospitalizations in 2010,2 and cost the healthcare system $49.9 billion in 2010 – $29.5 billion in direct health care expenditures, $8 billion in indirect morbidity costs and $12.4 billion in indirect mortality costs.3

To demonstrate the role of ONS in reducing these costs, the study, conducted by researchers from Precision Health Economics and the University of Southern California and supported by Abbott Nutrition, used data from the Premier Research Database of hospitalized Medicare patients aged 65+ to create a one-to-one matched sample of older adults with a primary diagnosis of COPD, comparing those receiving ONS with non-treated patients. Specifically, the researchers focused on the ability of ONS to improve COPD outcomes on the basis of three factors: the length of stay, costs for their hospitalization and readmission rates.

Documenting the effectiveness of ONS in hospitalized COPD patients, the study attributed ONS use with a 21.5 percent reduction in LOS (from 8.75 days among untreated patients to 6.87 days for those receiving ONS) and a reduction in episode costs of $1,570, from $12,523 to $10,953 or 12.5 percent. Among those episodes which could be tracked for follow-up, ONS use also lowered the probability of 30-day readmission by 13.1 percent.

The researchers concluded: “oral nutrition supplements present an inexpensive, effective means for reducing LOS, episode cost, and readmission risk in hospitalized Medicare patients with COPD. As such, ONS may offer an opportunity to reduce costs to Medicare while improving quality of outcomes.”

Learn more about how ONS can help patients with COPD experience improved outcomes PDF(38.3 KB)

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics: National Health Interview Survey Raw Data, 1983-2011. Analysis performed by American Lung Association Research and Health Education using SPSS and SUDAAN software.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. National Hospital Discharge Survey raw data, 2010. Analysis performed by the American Lung Association Research and Health Education Division using SPSS software.

3 National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Morbidity and Mortality: 2009 Chart Book on Cardiovascular, Lung and Blood Diseases.