Research conducted at Stanford University and the University of Southern California shows how oral nutritional supplements help hospitalized Medicare patients such as those with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) reduce 30-day hospital readmission rates and lower their length of stay. The analysis which is to be presented at the 35th annual meeting of the Society for Medical Decision Making, should be big news for people with CKD. Those who have more readmissions and hospital stays are at higher risk of contracting "superbugs" which are difficult to treat and can trigger infections that ultimately cause major organ failure. Additional ailments such as hospital-acquired pneumonia resulted in two extra weeks in the hospital, and in 11 percent of the pneumonia cases the patients did not survive. The Archives of Internal Medicine journal finds that the number of people who die because of infections caused by hospitals in the U.S. is more than the number of people who die from AIDS, firearm shootings or auto accidents.
Recommended Reading: Kidney Patients are High Risk for Hospital Readmissions
Under current practices one in five patients in the Medicare system are readmitted to a hospital in the same year. The most common medical readmission issues Medicare patients face are acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) and congestive heart failure which are also major aliments in the CKD Community. Although in the past nutritional supplements were seen as unnecessary and overpriced, the eleven year study suggests that certain natural supplements in fact can and do reduce readmission probabilities much faster than even prescription drugs. "With the right nutritional outpatient care, these vascular problems could subside."
It was posed that if primary care follow up encouraged dietary advice and the provision of organic food supplements, then patients could heal more efficiently by getting the optimal personal balance of enzymes, probiotics (help maintain the natural balance of organisms in the intestines), essential fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. Specific examples of "powerful nutritional supplements" included the likes of chlorella and hawthorne to drastically reduce readmission rates. More specifically, researchers showed a 10.1 percent reduction in readmission rates for congestive heart failure patients and a 12 percent reduction in readmission rates for those suffering from acute myocardial infarction. Regardless of diagnosis, data showed an 8.4 percent readmission reduction for all patients and an observed 16 percent reduction in patients' length of stay (1.65 days per person).
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These new findings are timely as a provision of the recent Affordable Care Act imposes fines on hospitals whose patient readmission rates exceed national averages. Fines estimated around $227 million are projected to hit over 2,000 hospitals in the next year. "The fine, currently at one percent, is set to double going into 2014, punishing those hospitals that can't get their Medicare readmission rates under control." Hence this new pressure will likely cause hospitals to get creative and structure entirely new outpatient programs and follow-ups to correct the issues that lead to patient readmission.
KidneyBuzz.com encourages you to discuss with your Nephrologist a more holistic approach to your health such as taking the right nutritional supplements instead of only prescription drugs. This could improve your quality of life as well as provide significant cost savings. However, KidneyBuzz.com warns strongly AGAINST acting alone and altering your current healthcare plan. Such action can result in significantly worse health outcomes, so you should always work with your healthcare team to develop and edit the best treatment plan for your personal needs.
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Modory, Kim. "Oral Nutritional Supplements May Help Hospitals Achieve Readmission Reduction Policies." Www.eurekalert.org. Fleishman-Hillard, Inc.
Health Affairs.org, "Will The Readmission Rate Penalties Drive Hospital Behavior Changes?"
Kaiser Health News, "Armed With Bigger Fines, Medicare To Punish 2,225 Hospitals For Excess Readmissions"
Devon, L.J., Staff Writer. "Study Shows Nutritional Supplements Can Cut Hospital Readmission Rates." Naturalnews.com. NaturalNews
Rau, Jordan, Staff Writer. "KHN: Kaiser Health News." Armed With Bigger Fines, Medicare To Punish 2,225 Hospitals For Excess Readmissions. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.