Public Release: 

Documentation of hospital patients' malnutrition helps maximize care and reimbursement

American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.)

Nutrition support professionals who are well-versed in proper documentation of malnutrition diagnoses in hospital patients can help ensure that hospitals receive maximum funding for patient care according to a new review.

The review, recently published in Nutrition in Clinical Practice (NCP), a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) that publishes articles about the scientific basis and clinical application of nutrition and nutrition support, found that proper documentation and coding of malnutrition can increase the payments the hospital receives for care.

Medicare is the major source of funding for many hospitals in the United States. Hospitals receive payments using the Acute Care Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System, which classifies patients into Medical Severity Diagnosis-Related Groups (MS-DRGs) to determine payment amounts. Documentation of comorbidities and complications can increase the payment hospitals receive to offset patient care costs.

The development of a valid and reliable program to identify, document, intervene, and code malnutrition is one of the ways the nutrition support clinician can contribute to the financial stability of the hospital and enhance the potential for adequate clinical resources to care for malnourished patients. In addition, classifying a patient's degree of malnutrition can help the healthcare team determine how frequently to reassess the patient and his or her response to care to provide the best possible outcomes.

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Nutrition in Clinical Practice (NCP) is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal that publishes articles about the scientific basis and clinical application of nutrition and nutrition support. NCP contains comprehensive reviews, clinical research, case observations, and other types of papers written by experts in the field of nutrition and healthcare practitioners involved in the delivery of specialized nutrition support. NCP is an official journal of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.). This journal is also a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) is dedicated to improving patient care by advancing the science and practice of nutrition support therapy and metabolism. Founded in 1976, A.S.P.E.N. is an interdisciplinary organization whose members are involved in the provision of clinical nutrition therapies, including parenteral and enteral nutrition. With more than 6,000 members from around the world, A.S.P.E.N. is a community of dietitians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physicians, scientists, students, and other health professionals from every facet of nutrition support clinical practice, research, and education. For more information about A.S.P.E.N., please visit http://www.nutritioncare.org.

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