FRIDAY, Oct. 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) — For children with special health care needs, enrollment in a multidisciplinary aerodigestive clinic may improve health care outcomes, according to a study published online Oct. 5 in JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery.
Swathi Appachi, M.D., from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, and colleagues retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 113 patients with aerodigestive disorders before and after enrollment in a pediatric multidisciplinary clinic from June 2009 to December 2013. Patient ages ranged from 0 to 20 years; 52.2 percent had a tracheostomy, and 80.5 percent had a gastrostomy tube during their enrollment period.
The researchers found that there was no significant difference in number of admissions per year seen with enrollment. However, after enrollment, there was a significant decrease in inpatient days per year, with a median decrease of 4.1. After examination of aerodigestive admissions alone, the median number of aerodigestive hospital days avoided per patient was 6.8 days per year, representing a 70 percent reduction in technical direct cost.
“These findings indicate that for children with special health care needs, enrollment in a multidisciplinary aerodigestive clinic may improve health care outcomes by decreasing technical direct cost by 70 percent and significantly decreasing patient hospital days by an estimated one week per year. Furthermore, coordinated aerodigestive care in a medical home setting may lower health care expenditures from a systems-based perspective,” conclude the authors.
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