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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1994 Oct;42(10):1045-9.

Reducing hospital costs for the geriatric patient admitted from the emergency department: a randomized trial.

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1
Department of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To test the impact of a geriatric evaluation and management model on the costs of acute hospital management of emergently admitted older adults.

DESIGN:

Randomized controlled trial. Patients were followed in the acute hospital from admission through discharge. Results based on both univariate and multiple regression analyses.

SETTING:

Private, nonprofit, academic medical center in a densely populated urban area.

PATIENTS:

Adults 70 years of age and older admitted from the Emergency Department to the medicine service (non-ICU admission) who did not have an internist on staff at the admitting hospital. Of 141 randomized patients, 111 (78.7%) met eligibility criteria.

INTERVENTION:

Assignment of a geriatrician and a social worker as the primary managing team during the hospital stay.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Length of stay, total cost of acute hospital care, cost of laboratory, pharmacy, and rehabilitation services.

RESULTS:

Patients in the intervention group had 2.1 fewer days of hospitalization, but this shorter length of stay was not statistically significant (P = 0.108). There were no differences in mortality or discharge disposition. In risk-adjusted, multiple regression analysis the intervention group had a statistically significant lower predicted total cost per patient than the usual care group (-$2,544, P = 0.029); assignment to the intervention group was associated with a lower predicted cost per patient for laboratory (including cardiology graphics) services (P = 0.007) and pharmacy costs (P = 0.047).

CONCLUSIONS:

When controlled for important predictors of expected resource use, care provided by a geriatric management team resulted in a significant reduction in the cost of hospitalization. A reduction in the cost of laboratory, cardiographic, and pharmacy services is consistent with the team's philosophy of defining the services needed based on goals related to functional outcomes.

PMID:
7930327
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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