Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Cost of Malnutrition

According to the Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition, 1 in every 3 patients arrives at a hospital malnourished. Elderly patients are particularly at risk. Experts suggest malnutrition has a significant negative impact on state budgets. A recent study found that direct medical costs caused by disease-associated malnutrition were between $36 and $65 per capita across the states—ranging from a total of $7 million in Alaska up to $492.5 million in California. The national overall annual cost of disease-associated malnutrition is more than $15.5 billion.

Malnourished patients are twice as likely to develop a pressure ulcer in the hospital and have three times the risk for surgical-site infection. But tool kits and protocols that provide evidence-based, high-quality, patient-driven malnutrition care for older adults can mitigate problems. For example, one recent study found that the Cleveland Clinic was able to reduce the length of stays, re-admissions, and costs of care after implementing a malnutrition protocol.

Source: Council of State Governments, 12/16, Malnutrition Costs

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