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Study Shows COPD Re-admissions Can Be Reduced

A new sleep center study shows re-hospitalization of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be significantly reduced using a multi-faceted approach.

Published in Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, Steven Coughlin, PhD, Director of Strategy, Health Economics and Reimbursement at Philips Respironics, and colleagues used a retrospective approach to look at a quality improvement (QI) program and its effect on patients with COPD.

The program focused on COPD patients who had been hospitalized “twice in a single year as a result of acute COPD exacerbation.” Those patients were then treated according to a multi-faceted intervention plan that included:

●       nocturnal administration of advanced positive airway pressure (PAP), or noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV)
●       medication reconciliation by a pharmacist
●       adequate provision of oxygen
●       patient education
●       ongoing respiratory therapist-led care
The proportion of patients who were readmitted the following year decreased by almost 80%, from 397 to 9 out of the 397 patients that met all of the eligibility criteria. “A total of 70 patients died during within one year of the initiation of the intervention.”
In a recent development, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has begun tracking COPD-related re-hospitalizations. Additionally, the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) “classifies COPD as a condition for which good outpatient care can potentially reduce hospitalization, prevent complications, and reduce disease severity.” While this study focused on “only one quality improvement program and one sleep center, the authors say it provides enough information to warrant further research.”

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