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Oral nutritional supplements demonstrate significant health and cost benefits

Analysis of more than 1 million adult hospital cases revealed 21 percent reduction in length of hospital stay and cost with nutritional intervention

ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Aug. 30, 2013 – Abbott (NYSE: ABT) A recent health economics and outcomes study, conducted by leading health economists and supported by Abbott, found that oral nutritional supplements provided to patients during hospitalization were associated with significant reductions in length of stay and hospitalization cost. Additionally, the 30-day readmission risk was significantly reduced for patients with at least one known subsequent readmission.

The study is being presented this weekend at the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) annual congress in Leipzig, Germany, where it will be highlighted as one of the conference's three "Best Abstracts." The meeting is a leading conference in clinical nutrition, bringing together participants from more than 80 countries.

The study analyzed more than 1 million adult inpatient cases in the U.S., and found that patients provided oral nutritional supplements during hospitalization benefited from:

  • 21 percent, or 2.3 day, reduction in length of stay
  • 21.6 percent, or $4,734, reduction in patient hospitalization cost

Additionally, there was a 6.7 percent reduction in the probability of a 30-day readmission in patients who had at least one known subsequent readmission and were provided oral nutritional supplements during the previous hospitalization.

The study, which also was recently published in the American Journal of Managed Care, provides insights into the economic benefits of prescribing oral nutritional supplements to adult patients in the hospital setting.

"Patients identified as having nutritional deficiencies often face a longer and more difficult recovery process, resulting in higher health care costs and an increase in complication rates," said Marinos Elia, MD, BSc Hon, FRCP, Professor of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism at University of Southampton. "Research demonstrates that oral nutritional supplementation can lead to highly positive economic benefits and improved patient outcomes."

In the study, investigators were able to determine differences in length of stay and costs by comparing hospital stays where oral nutritional supplements were prescribed to patients with similar conditions where oral nutritional supplements weren't prescribed.

"Because oral nutritional supplements are formulated to provide advanced nutrition and calories for patients and are relatively inexpensive to provide, the sizeable savings they generate make supplementation a cost-effective therapy," said study co-author, Tomas Philipson Ph.D., Daniel Levin Chair of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.

"In today's outcome conscious hospital environment, Abbott is committed to delivering products that improve the quality of care for patients and also help reduce health care costs," said Robert H. Miller, Ph.D., divisional vice president, Global R&D and Scientific Affairs for Abbott Nutrition. "In addition to the numerous retrospective studies focused on health economics and outcomes research in our pipeline, nearly all of our clinical research studies now include an economic analysis to help demonstrate a nutritional therapy's total value proposition."

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