Q&A with Dr. Pinson: Applying ASPEN Malnutrition Criteria

by Richard D. Pinson, MD, FACP, CCS

Q: We have been told we can select ASPEN malnutrition parameters across the clinical contexts for severe malnutrition such as <75% energy requirement for >1 month from the chronic context and moderate muscle and fat loss from the acute context. Is this a proper application of the ASPEN criteria?

A: One must stay within the specific clinical context one is using (acute, chronic, socio-environmental), not picking criteria from different contexts. There’s also a problem with caloric intake for severe malnutrition in the chronic context you mentioned: it’s the same as non-severe and out of sync with the acute and socio-environmental contexts where it’s <50%. We advise using <50% in all three for consistency and compliance concerns.


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About the Author

Dr. Richard Pinson, MD, FACP, CCS
Dr. Richard Pinson is a physician, educator, administrator, and healthcare consultant. He practiced Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine in Tennessee for over 20 years having board certification in both. Dr. Pinson is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and former Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Vanderbilt, and has assisted hospitals as a physician consultant for the past ten years. Dr. Pinson’s personal understanding of the mindset of both doctors and managers allows him a unique vantage point from which to promote cooperation between physicians, hospital staff, and administrators toward achieving beneficial and practical changes.

About the Author

Libman Education
Libman Education Inc. is a leading provider of training for the health care workforce offering self-paced and instructor-led online courses designed and developed by leading industry experts in Health Information Management (HIM) and Medical Record Coding. Our courses are specifically designed to improve individual skills and increase the efficiencies and competencies of health care providers and institutions. At Libman Education, we understand the needs and challenges of a well-trained workforce and offer the right-mix of online education to ensure that the health care professionals are prepared to meet the challenges of the changing workplace.

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