A careful of analysis of COPD patients receiving intensive care could help offset high hospitalization costs, reports The American Journal of Managed Care.

The researchers conducted a retrospective observational cohort study using data from the Ottawa Hospital. A total of 1894 patients were included. They had a mean age of 73 years with one-third of them being older than age 80.

The study identifies 2 populations of patients with COPD: first, those with acute severe illness who required intensive care unit admissions and those who died in the hospital setting; and second, those who are not able to cope well at home. Both of these groups contributed to high costs during hospitalizations for COPD.

The authors suggest that since there is little overlap between the 2 groups that early recognition and intervention for people who are frail and functionally limited may result in significant cost savings for hospitals. Patients in the second group require an alternate level of care, typically incur higher allied health professional costs and were discharged to either long-term care facilities or home with home care services.

“If hospital costs are to be saved in this group of patients, early identification of patients with chronic disease and poor functional status in the community setting could help initiate early introduction of support services and arrangement for assisted living facilities,” the authors determined.

Read the whole story at www.ajmc.com