Home artificial nutrition (HAN) is an established treatment for malnourished patients. Since July 2012, the costs for oral nutrition supplements (ONS) are covered by the compulsory health insurance providers in Switzerland if the patient has a medical indication based on the Swiss Society for Clinical Nutrition guidelines. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to analyse the development of HAN, including ONS, before and after July 2012.
We obtained the retrospective and anonymized data from the Swiss association for joint tasks of health insurers (SVK), who registered patients on HAN. Since not all health insurers are working with SVK, this retrospective study recorded nearly 65% of all new patients on HAN in Switzerland from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2015.
A total of 33,410 patients (49.1% men and 50.9% women) with a mean BMI of 21.3 ± 4.5 kg/m2 and mean age of 68.9 ± 17.8 years were recorded. The number of patient cases on ONS increased from 808 cases in 2010 to 18,538 cases in 2015, while patient cases on home enteral nutrition (HEN) and home parenteral nutrition (HPN) remained approximately the same. The relative distribution of type of HAN changed from 26.2% cases on ONS, 68.7% cases on HEN and 5.1% cases on HPN in 2010 to 86.1% cases on ONS, 12.8% cases on HEN, and 1.1% cases on HPN in 2015. Treatment duration decreased for ONS from 698 ± 637 days to 171 ± 274 days, for HEN from 416 ± 553 days to 262 ± 459 days, and for HPN from 96 ± 206 days to 72 ± 123 days. Mean costs per patient decreased for ONS from 1,330 CHF in 2010 to 606 CHF in 2015. Total costs for HAN increased from 16,895,373 CHF in 2010 to 32,868,361 CHF in 2015.
Our epidemiological follow-up study showed an immense increase in number of patients on HAN in Switzerland after July 2012. Due to shorter therapy duration and reduced mean costs per patient, total costs were only doubled while the number of patients increased 7-fold.

© 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel.