Home Nutrition Support Team Interventions Prevent Hospitalizations, Reduce Costs for Clinical Nutrition Patients

Walgreens Study Reinforces Importance of Proactive Clinical Nutrition Interventions

DEERFIELD, Ill., February 11, 2013 - Home nutrition support team interventions improved patient care and potentially prevented an estimated 429 hospital days over a three-month period, according to new data presented by Walgreens Infusion Services (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG) at the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) Clinical Nutrition Week meeting today in Phoenix. The cost savings of these interventions were estimated at more than $850,000.

The study included data from 16 Walgreens Infusion Services offices, with 2,500 enteral nutrition (EN) patients (who received their nutrition needs through a feeding tube) and 270 parenteral nutrition (PN) patients (who received their nutrition intravenously) on service during the study period. Interventions were performed by the Walgreens Infusion Services home nutrition support team, which includes nurses, pharmacists and dietitians who work closely with physicians to provide care to PN and EN patients. This patient-centric multidisciplinary approach to care enabled the teams to quickly identify therapy complications and intervene to address them with the guidance of the physicians. There were 373 total interventions completed during the three-month study, including correcting over/underfeeding, preventing dehydration, reducing/eliminating diarrhea, managing hyperglycemia, managing electrolyte imbalances, transitioning patients from PN to oral eating, and starting patients on PN therapy in the home (instead of in the hospital).

“Dietitians are experts in nutrition support and play a vital role in home-delivered care,” said Noreen Luszcz, RD, MBA, CNSC, Walgreens Infusion Services nutrition program director. “Our home nutrition support teams work together to proactively monitor patient’s therapy and provide regular updates to the patient’s physician. We invest in having dietitians as part of our teams because they play a vital role in providing appropriate, safe, cost-effective home nutrition support.”

Patients are typically prescribed PN or EN because they cannot absorb an adequate amount of nutrients due to a health condition like cancer, a stroke or surgical complications. While both therapies can be administered in the hospital, about 40,000 PN patients and 344,000 EN patients each year receive their nutrition therapy at home, where they are more comfortable and can avoid the risk of exposure to hospital-acquired infections.1,2

The poster including these data, presented at Clinical Nutrition Week today, was one of the three top-scoring posters in the Home and Alternate Site Care Section for the meeting. For more information or to receive a copy of the poster, which includes details about the number of specific interventions performed for each group, please contact bculbertson@pcipr.com.

About Walgreens Infusion Services

Walgreens Infusion Services is the nation’s largest provider of home and alternate treatment site infusion services. With a staff of more than 1,400 clinical experts – including specially trained infusion nurses, infusion pharmacists and registered dietitians – Walgreens Infusion Services treats patients with a wide range of acute and chronic conditions. Comprehensive therapy management programs are offered for patients with nutrition disorders, bleeding disorders and heart failure, as well as those needing immunoglobulin (IG) therapy, anti-infective therapy and transplant services. Patients are supported 24/7 through more than 75 infusion pharmacies and 100 alternate treatment sites across the country.

About Walgreens

As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2012 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to become America’s first choice for health and daily living. Each day, Walgreens provides more than 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 8,067 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.

1. Howard L., Ament M, Fleming CR, Shike M, Steiger E. Current use and clinical outcome of home parenteral and enteral nutrition therapies in the United States. Gastroenterology. 1995:Aug;109(2):355-65.

2. Ireton-Jones C. Home enteral nutrition. Oley Foundation website. Accessed on Jan. 9, 2013. http://www.oley.org/lifeline/henND.html



Bonnie Culbertson, (312) 558-1770


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