Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Poison centers benefit patients, reduce medical costs

Date:
March 10, 2014
Source:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Summary:
Patients who received help from a poison center had shorter hospital stays and lower hospital charges among those who are the most expensive to treat, according to a study. Poison centers provide 24-hour assistance year round to the public and to medical professionals. While studies show that poison centers reduce system-wide costs, their impact on patient outcomes at the hospital level has not been clear, the study's authors report.

Patients who received help from a poison center had shorter hospital stays and lower hospital charges among those who are the most expensive to treat, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health.

Poison centers provide 24-hour assistance year round to the public and to medical professionals. While studies show that poison centers reduce system-wide costs, their impact on patient outcomes at the hospital level has not been clear, the study's authors report.

The researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of inpatients treated in Illinois hospitals in 2010. They linked data from the Illinois Poison Center to medical record data from the Illinois Hospital Association and controlled for patient- and facility-level variables.

Nearly 10,000 hospitalized patients treated for poison exposure were included in the study, and half received poison center assistance during the course of their treatment.

"We found that if the poison center was involved in patients' care there was a cumulative decrease of $2,078 in hospital charges per 10 patients," said Lee Friedman, assistant professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at UIC and lead author of the study, which was published in the March issue of Clinical Toxicology.

Hospital emergency rooms that placed calls to the Illinois Poison Center saved $2.1 million for the 10,272 patients they admitted for care in 2010, the researchers estimate. Had all 166,949 patients who were admitted to Illinois hospitals due to poisoning received assistance from a poison center, a potential savings of $34.6 million may have been realized.

The study also found the length of stay among poison center assisted patients was .058 days shorter, after adjusting for multiple variables.

Poison centers across the nation are not securely funded and often must depend on a combination of local discretionary support and donations, despite numerous studies showing that they provide system-wide savings by preventing poisonings, reducing unnecessary hospital visits and, as shown in this study, reducing cost of hospitalizations. Many poison centers have been closed or forced to reduce services due to budget cutbacks. It is estimated that only half of the U.S. population has access to a certified regional poison center, and Illinois' poison center is slated to close in June if funding is not secured.

"This study shows that hospitals, insurance companies, and government benefit financially from poison centers," said Friedman, "and an equitable system of cost sharing should be developed to ensure that poison centers can continue to provide services to the community."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Chicago. The original article was written by Sherri McGinnis Gonzαlez. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. L. S. Friedman, A. Krajewski, E. Vannoy, A. Allegretti, M. Wahl. The association between U.S. Poison Center assistance and length of stay and hospital charges. Clinical Toxicology, 2014; 52 (3): 198 DOI: 10.3109/15563650.2014.892125

Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Chicago. "Poison centers benefit patients, reduce medical costs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310182545.htm>.
University of Illinois at Chicago. (2014, March 10). Poison centers benefit patients, reduce medical costs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310182545.htm
University of Illinois at Chicago. "Poison centers benefit patients, reduce medical costs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310182545.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is ordering U.S. military personnel to West Africa to deal with the Ebola outbreak, which is he calls a potential threat to global security. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins