Expanding Treatment Options: The Latest Developments in COPD - Episode 20

Reducing the Cost of COPD Care by Preventing Hospitalizations

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The MD Magazine Peer Exchange “Expanding Treatment Options: The Latest Developments in COPD Therapy” features a panel of physician experts discussing key topics in COPD therapy, including risk factors, personalized treatment, preventive measures, new combination therapies, and more.

This Peer Exchange is moderated by Peter Salgo, MD, professor of medicine and anesthesiology at Columbia University and an associate director of surgical intensive care at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.

The panelists are:

  • Byron Thomashow, MD, professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, medical director at the Jo-Ann LeBuhn Center for Chest Disease at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and chairman of the board of the COPD Foundation
  • Neil R. MacIntyre, MD, clinical chief of the Pulmonary/Critical Care Division, medical director of Respiratory Care Services, and professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine
  • Barry J. Make, MD, director of Pulmonary and Respiratory Care for National Jewish Health and professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Nicola A. Hanania, MD, MS, associate professor of medicine and director of the Asthma and COPD Clinical Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine

In order to help manage readmission rates for patients with COPD, Hanania said that hospitals need to come up with a COPD discharge bundles, similar to those already used for sepsis in the ICU. He also said that it is important to make sure patients schedule a timely follow-up visit after a hospital admission to make sure all of their comorbidities are being properly addressed. But what is ultimately needed, he said, is patient buy-in to follow through.

The panelists agreed that, even though medications may seem costly up front, treating a patient with a regimen that is known to reduce hospitalizations can lower overall healthcare costs in the long run. Other benefits besides cost include reducing the risk of mortality in the hospital and the risk of exacerbation a year after discharge.