HealthDay News — A prehabilitation program is associated with shorter length of stay and lower total episode payment after surgery, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Charles A. Mouch, MD, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues used Medicare claims data from 2014 to 2017 to conduct a multicenter cohort study to examine the feasibility, generalizability, and value of a prehabilitation program. The program involved a home-based walking program with additional education on nutrition, smoking cessation, and psychological preparation for surgical intervention. A total of 523 patients and 1,046 propensity score-matched controls were followed for their index surgical hospitalization and for 90 days postoperatively; an exact match was required for operation type.

The researchers found that the median hospital length of stay was significantly shorter for patients than controls (six versus seven days), and they were more likely to be discharged to home (65.6 versus 57 percent). Compared with controls, patients had significantly lower total episode payments ($31,641 versus $34,837). Significantly lower post-acute care payments were seen for skilled nursing facility ($941 versus $1,566) and home health ($829 versus $960) services for patients.

“Our results lend strength to the argument for broad adoption of prehabilitation services as a standard component of surgical care,” the authors write.


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