New Study Demonstrates Importance of Oral Nutritional Supplements in Helping Hospitals Achieve Medicare Readmission Reduction

 New Study Demonstrates Importance of Oral Nutritional Supplements in Helping
        Hospitals Achieve Medicare Readmission Reduction Requirements

As Affordable Care Act Penalties on Hospital Readmissions Increase,
Nutritional Intervention May Help Decrease 30-day Readmission Rates among
Medicare Patients

PR Newswire

ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Oct. 18, 2013

ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Oct. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --(NYSE: ABT) – In the U.S.,
one in five Medicare patients is readmitted to a hospital each year at an
estimated cost of $17.5 billion annually.^i To reduce this impact, the
Affordable Care Act (ACA) has introduced hospital penalties based on
readmissions conditions that commonly affect patients aged 65 and older –
including acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure and pneumonia.

A new study conducted by leading researchers at the University of Southern
California, Stanford University, The Harris School at The University of
Chicago and Precision Health Economics, and supported by Abbott, found that
the use of oral nutritional supplements decreased the probability of 30-day
hospital readmission, length of stay and costs among hospitalized Medicare
patients aged 65 and over. 

The study, to be presented this weekend at the 35th annual meeting of the
Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM) in Baltimore, demonstrated that
oral nutritional supplements were associated with a decreased probability of
30-day readmission among Medicare patients aged 65 and over who could be
tracked for readmission, with:

  o8.4 percent reduction for patients with any diagnosis
  o10.1 percent reduction for congestive heart failure patients
  o12.0 percent reduction for acute myocardial infarction patients

Oral nutritional supplements are dietary food, often in liquid form, that
provide calories, protein and nutrients for added nutrition and energy in the

Readmission Penalties

Starting this month, the ACA's current penalty of one percent doubles for
hospitals whose number of readmitted patients, within 30 days, goes above the
national average specifically for those conditions. Federal data estimates
$227 million in fines will be levied by Medicare this year against 2,225

In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is looking at
expanding readmission penalties to include other diagnoses such as chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and knee and hip replacements.

Length of Stay and Hospital Cost Reductions

In addition to readmission rates, the use of oral nutritional supplements also
delivered associated improvements in a patient's length of stay and hospital
costs. The study found the impact of oral nutritional supplements on length of
stay and cost of care were even more impactful and statistically significant
when looking at all Medicare patients aged 65 and older with any primary

  o16.0 percent or 1.65 days reduction in length of stay
  o15.8 percent or $3,079 in cost savings per episode

This impact is important because today hospitals are seeking interventions
that improve patient care and reduce costs.

"Hospitals are going to be looking for ways to improve quality of care for
Medicare patients in order to lower readmission rates and prevent fines," said
study co-author, Tomas Philipson, Ph.D., who is the Daniel Levin Chair of
Public Policy at the University of Chicago. "This analysis suggests that use
of oral nutritional supplements is a simple and cost-effective solution that
hospitals can implement immediately."

Through the analysis of 11 years of hospital data, researchers were able to
determine differences in length of stay, episode cost and 30-day readmission
rates for Medicare patients aged 65 and older by comparing cases where oral
nutritional supplements were prescribed to patients with the same conditions
to those who weren't prescribed oral nutritional supplements.

"Abbott is committed to delivering innovative nutritional solutions through
products that improve the quality of care for patients and also help reduce
healthcare costs," said Robert H. Miller, Ph.D., divisional vice president,
Global Research & Development and Scientific Affairs for Abbott Nutrition.
"This research aligns with other studies Abbott has conducted and on-going,
and will contribute to the growing body of evidence that demonstrates the role
nutritional supplements, such as Ensure^®, can play in improving outcomes and
lowering costs."

About the Study

The "Oral Nutrition Supplements' Impact on Hospital Outcomes in the Context of
Affordable Care Act and New Medicare Reimbursement Policies" study is an
11-year data analysis on hospitalized Medicare patients aged 65 and over with
any diagnosis and those carrying a diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction,
congestive heart failure or pneumonia.

Analyses were conducted using the Premier Research Database, which contained
data from 2000-2010. The matched sample for all Medicare patients aged 65 and
over for any primary diagnosis was 667,684 hospital stays. The study compared
hospital stays involving use of oral nutritional supplements to stays not
involving use of oral nutritional supplements, in one-to-one matched samples.

The subpopulation matched samples included 20,870; 38,418; and 47,477 for
acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure and pneumonia hospital
stays, respectively. In addition to propensity score matching, instrumental
variables (IV) regression analysis was performed to address potential bias due
to non-random selection.

About Precision Health Economics

Founded by three renowned health economists from leading universities: Tomas
Philipson; Dana Goldman; and Darius Lakdawalla, Precision Health Economics
(PHE) integrates deep technical expertise with practical insights to bring
intellectual integrity, academic rigor, and a creative approach to the most
challenging problems in healthcare.

PHE has offices across the United States and draws on the research expertise
of a network of affiliated academic economists and clinicians from the worlds
leading universities. PHE's work straddles the policy arena and the clinical
field, reaching top decision makers to influence outcomes. For more
information, go to

About Abbott Nutrition

For more than 85 years, Abbott Nutrition has been a leader in developing and
marketing science-based nutrition products to support the growth, health and
wellness of people of all ages. Brands include Similac^® infant formulas,
Gain^® growing-up formulas, PediaSure^® nutritional shakes for children,
Ensure^® nutritional shakes for adults, Glucerna^® nutritional shakes and bars
for people with diabetes, EAS^® specialized products for athletes, and
ZonePerfect^® nutrition bars for busy, active lifestyles. More information
about Abbott Nutrition and its products is available at

About Abbott

Abbott is a global healthcare company devoted to improving life through the
development of products and technologies that span the breadth of healthcare.
With a portfolio of leading, science-based offerings in diagnostics, medical
devices, nutritionals and branded generic pharmaceuticals, Abbott serves
people in more than 150 countries and employs approximately 70,000 people.

Visit Abbott at connect with us on Twitter at @AbbottNews.

^i Health, "Will The Readmission Rate Penalties Drive Hospital
Behavior Changes?" Feb. 14, 2013.

^ii Kaiser Health News, "Armed With Bigger Fines, Medicare To Punish 2,225
Hospitals For Excess Readmissions" Aug. 2, 2013.


Contact: Media, Kim Modory, (847) 938-4696, or Michelle Zendah, (614)
624-7485; or Financial, Brian Yoor, (847) 937-6343, or Scott Leinenweber,
(847) 935-1898
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