The cost of home air-fluidized therapy for pressure sores. A randomized controlled trial.

TitleThe cost of home air-fluidized therapy for pressure sores. A randomized controlled trial.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1991
AuthorsStrauss, MJ, Gong, J, Gary, BD, Kalsbeek, WD, Spear, S
JournalThe Journal of family practice
Date Published1991 Jul
KeywordsAged, Beds, Costs and Cost Analysis, Female, Health Resources, Home Care Services, Hospitals, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Outcome and Process Assessment (Health Care), Pressure Ulcer, Safety

BACKGROUND: Recurrent pressures sores are a serious problem that often cause chronically ill patients to be hospitalized. We hypothesized that home air-fluidized bed therapy may be a safe and effective way to treat these patients, thus avoiding the costs of hospitalization.

METHODS: One hundred twelve patients with 3rd or 4th stage pressure sores were randomly assigned to 36 weeks of either (1) home air-fluidized bed therapy that included the services of a visiting nurse specialist as long as the patient had 3rd or 4th stage sores, or (2) conventional therapy.

RESULTS: Compared with patients in the control group, patients receiving air-fluidized bed therapy spent fewer days in the hospital (11.4 days vs 25.5 days, P less than .01) and used fewer total inpatient resources, as reflected both in charges ($13,263 vs $25,736, P less than .05) and in Medicare DRG and physician payments ($6,646 vs $12,131, P less than .05). Total resources used (inpatient and outpatient) were lower for patients treated with air-fluidized bed therapy, but the difference was not statistically significant. Clinical outcomes were similar.

CONCLUSIONS: Home air-fluidized bed therapy is safe, reduces hospitalizations, is no more costly than alternative therapy, and allows the patients to receive their needed care in a more desirable, nonhospital setting.

Alternate JournalJ Fam Pract
PubMed ID2056290

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