Projected $580M in Medicare Savings Possible With Nutrition Support Therapy According to New Study

Value Project Study Also Finds Improvements in Reduced Length of Hospital Stays and Complication Avoidance

SILVER SPRING, MD, January 30, 2020: A new study published today in the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition finds that nutrition support therapy for specific hospitalized patient populations could reduce Medicare costs by a projected $580 million each year. 

This first-of-its-kind study, conducted by the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN), is evidence of the economic value of the improved patient outcomes associated with appropriate nutrition support therapies.

“The study, ‘Value of Nutrition Support Therapy: Impact on Clinical and Economic Outcomes in the United States,’ provides critical guidance on ways to reduce costs while improving patient health with nutrition support,” said co-author, project co-chair, and ASPEN member Albert Barrocas, MD, FACS. “Future savings could be even higher by expanding nutritional interventions to the entire Medicare population.” 

“These findings provide healthcare leaders with evidence of how investing in nutrition support can reduce hospital-acquired conditions, and shorten hospital length of stay,” said lead author, project co-chair, and ASPEN member Renay Tyler, DNP, ACNP. “Healthcare professionals and policymakers can no longer afford to overlook the role of nutrition in delivering high-value care and yielding substantial cost savings.”

Value Project Study Protocol
The study was undertaken to understand the financial and quality impact of nutrition support therapy on high-priority therapeutic conditions through an evidence review and Medicare claims analyses. 

A literature search was conducted on 13 specific diseases or therapeutic conditions where nutrition support intervention was administered, and clinical outcomes were measured. From this survey of 1,099 articles, five conditions were selected. An analysis of cost data using Medicare claims for these conditions between October 2015 and June 2018 was then conducted to determine cost savings or loss when nutrition support was provided to all eligible patients. These results were then modeled to project costs on a yearly basis.

This analysis revealed that highly significant Medicare costs savings of $580 million resulted in four of the five selected conditions, when nutrition support was provided. In particular, the study uncovered significant savings and improved outcomes for patients with sepsis, gastrointestinal cancer, surgical complications, and hospital-acquired infections. The link to the complete study can be found on

“The findings from the Value Project suggest that additional research beyond this limited group of conditions could generate additional insights surrounding the considerable benefits of optimal nutrition care,” said co-author Peggi Guenter, PhD, RN, FAAN, FASPEN, and senior director of clinical practice, quality and advocacy at ASPEN.

Avalere Health, a Washington, DC-based health policy firm, worked on the Value Project under the guidance of a 17-member, multidisciplinary ASPEN task force. Funding was contributed by Nestlé Nutrition Institute, Abbott Nutrition, Cardinal Health, and B. Braun Medical, Inc.

Contact: Stephanie Lee, (301)-920-9124, [email protected]


The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) is dedicated to improving patient care by advancing the science and practice of nutrition support therapy and metabolism. Founded in 1976, ASPEN is an interdisciplinary organization whose members are involved in the provision of clinical nutrition therapies, including parenteral and enteral nutrition. With more than 6,500 members from around the world, ASPEN 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 ASPEN, please visit

The Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (JPEN) publishes original, peer-reviewed studies and clinical content presenting developments and advances in optimizing the care of patients receiving enteral or intravenous therapies. It is published eight times a year by ASPEN