Cost Savings in Inpatient Oncology Through an Integrative Medicine Approach

Wednesday, 11/07/2012  |   Others  |  no comments

Objectives: To evaluate the cost impact of an integrative medicine intervention on an inpatient oncology service.
Study Design: This study used nonrandomized, nonequivalent groups. A baseline sample of inpatient oncology patients at Beth Israel Medical Center admitted to the medical oncology unit before implementation of the Urban Zen Initiative were compared with patients admitted after the Urban Zen Initiative was in place.
Methods: The Urban Zen Initiative incorporated yoga therapy, holistic nursing techniques, and a “healing environment” into routine inpatient oncology care. Length of stay and medication use data were extracted from Beth Israel’s decision support electronic database. We compared length of stay, total medication costs, and costs of as-needed medications for both groups: the baseline sample of inpatient oncology patients and patients exposed to the Urban Zen healing environment initiative.
Results: We had complete cost data on 85 patients in our baseline group and 72 in our intervention group. We found no difference in length of stay between the 2 groups. We found a significant decrease in use of antiemetic, anxiolytic, and hypnotic medication costs as well as a decrease in total medication costs in the Urban Zen sample compared with the baseline group.
Conclusions: An integrative medicine approach including yoga therapy, holistic nursing, and a healing environment in the inpatient setting can decrease use of medications, resulting in substantial cost savings for hospitals in the care of oncology patients.
Kligler B, Homel P, Harrison LB, et al. Am J Manag Care. 2011. Vol.17, No.12 Pp.779-784

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.