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Nutr Clin Pract. 2015 Oct;30(5):604-8. doi: 10.1177/0884533615589372. Epub 2015 Jun 17.

Accurate Documentation of Malnutrition Diagnosis Reflects Increased Healthcare Resource Utilization.

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Morrison Healthcare, Crozet, Virginia


Nutrition support professionals often care for the sickest of hospitalized patients. An understanding of healthcare payment models can help the nutrition support professional know how documentation of nutrition status can ensure maximum resources are available to care for these patients. Medicare is the major funding source 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 increased resource utilization. This article explains how malnutrition documentation and coding can influence the case mix index, an indicator of level of acuity of patients treated at the hospital, and the payment the hospital receives to care for the patient.


Diagnosis-Related Groups; Medicare; fee-for-service plans; insurance; nutrition assessment; nutrition therapy; prospective payment system

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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