Patients frequently cite dislike as the reason for limiting/avoiding intake of thickened liquids and pureed foods. These patients have higher rates of dehydration and urinary tract infections – two of the top five reasons for unplanned rehospitalizations.
Rehospitalization costs for pneumonia not requiring use of the ICU is a minimum of $14,400 per episode. Then add in the cost of thickener per year: $2088-$3468 per patient and enteral feeds: $31,832 ($46,257 adjusted for inflation) per patient. (O’Keeffe 2018, Callahan et. al 2001, respectively. See Research Resources).
Multiply by the number of affected residents in the facility and the numbers begin to skyrocket. Having access to FEES can help to minimize these costs and help to lower readmission rates.