Nutrition-Focused Care for Community-Living Adults: Healthcare Utilization and Economic Benefits

Suela Sulo, Bjoern Schwander, Cory Brunton, Gabriel Gomez, Juan Diego Misas, Daniela Alejandra Gracia, Diego Andrés Chavarro-Carvajal, Luis Carlos Venegas-Sanabria, Carlos Cano-Gutiérrez

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch Articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: We assessed the impact of a recently reported nutritional quality improvement program (QIP) on healthcare resource utilization and costs for older, community-living adults in Bogotá, Colombia. Methods: The study included 618 community-dwelling, older adults (> 60 years) who were at risk or malnourished and receiving outpatient clinical care. The intervention was a QIP that emphasized nutritional screening, dietary education, lifestyle counseling, 60-day consumption of oral nutritional supplements, and 90-day follow-up. For economic modeling, we performed 90-day budget impact and cost-effectiveness analyses from a Colombian third-party payer perspective. The base-case analysis quantified mean healthcare resource use in the QIP study population. Analysis was based on mean input values (deterministic) and distributions of input parameters (probabilistic). As the deterministic analysis provided a simple point estimate, the cost-effectiveness analysis focused on the probabilistic results informed by 1000 iterations of a Monte-Carlo simulation. Results: Results showed that the total use of healthcare resources over 90 days was significantly reduced by > 40% (hospitalizations were reduced by approximately 80%, emergency department visits by > 60%, and outpatient clinical visits by nearly 40%; P < .001). Based on economic modeling, total cost savings of $129 740 or per-patient cost savings of $210 over 90 days could be attributed to the use of nutritional QIP strategies. Total cost savings equated to nearly twice the initial investment for QIP intervention; that is, the per-dollar return on investment was $1.82. Conclusions: For older adults living in the community in Colombia, the use of our nutritional QIP improved health outcomes while lowering costs of healthcare and was thus cost-effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-77
Number of pages8
JournalValue in Health Regional Issues
StatePublished - Nov 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy


Dive into the research topics of 'Nutrition-Focused Care for Community-Living Adults: Healthcare Utilization and Economic Benefits'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this