A narrative review of healthcare financing and reimbursement of nutritional support for patients in Singapore

A. Wong, S. N. Goh, P. M. Sowa, J. D. Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: Nutritional support is used frequently in Singapore's healthcare settings, but limited research has been published on how it is financed. This paper aims to provide a narrative review on the financing of nutritional support in Singapore for acute care, step-down care, intermediate and long-term care (ILTC), community and home settings. Methods: A structured search strategy was applied to available electronic databases using selected search terms, with additional reports and grey literature identified using iterative searches. Results: A limited number of publications were found via electronic databases. The majority of publications were from governmental reports/ press releases, and healthcare organizations’ websites. While funds are available via MediSave, MediShield Life, MediFund, and various other schemes, they may not be sufficient for individuals on long-term nutritional support. Conclusions: More funding sources for nutritional support are urgently required for patients in ILTC. Means-testing mechanism and targeting may need to improve to ensure access to financial assistance for nutritional support and prevent poorer outcomes and higher medical costs. Medical providers, dietitians, pharmacists and social workers play a role in determining need, prescribing and accessing nutritional support for optimal care of individuals in hospitals and ILTC. Future policies will need to address the issues of access to nutritional support in the elderly and low-income populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1146-1154
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Policy
Volume124
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Finance
  • Funding
  • Healthcare
  • Nutritional support

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