Reducing Hospital Costs for the Geriatric Patient Admitted from the Emergency Department: A Randomized Trial

B. J. Naughton, M. B. Moran, J. Feinglass, J. Falconer, M. E. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To test the impact of a geriatric evaluation and management model on the costs of acute hospital management of emergently admitted older adults. DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial. Patients were followed in the acute hospital from admission through discharge. Results based on both univariate and multiple regression analyses. SETTING: Private, nonprofit, academic medical center in a densely populated urban area. PATIENTS: Adults 70 years of age and older admitted from the Emergency Department to the medicine service (non‐ICU admission) who did not have an internist on staff at the admitting hospital. Of 141 randomized patients, 111 (78.7%) met eligibility criteria. INTERVENTION: Assignment of a geriatrician and a social worker as the primary managing team during the hospital stay. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Length of stay, total cost of acute hospital care, cost of laboratory, pharmacy, and rehabilitation services. RESULTS: Patients in the intervention group had 2.1 fewer days of hospitalization, but this shorter length of stay was not statistically significant (P = 0.108). There were no differences in mortality or discharge disposition. In risk‐adjusted, multiple regression analysis the intervention group had a statistically significant lower predicted total cost per patient than the usual care group (‐$2,544, P = 0.029); assignment to the intervention group was associated with a lower predicted cost per patient for laboratory (including cardiology graphics) services (P = 0.007) and pharmacy costs (P = 0.047). CONCLUSIONS: When controlled for important predictors of expected resource use, care provided by a geriatric management team resulted in a significant reduction in the cost of hospitalization. A reduction in the cost of laboratory, cardiographic, and pharmacy services is consistent with the team's philosophy of defining the services needed based on goals related to functional outcomes. 1994 The American Geriatrics Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1045-1049
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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