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Readmission for COPD exacerbation upped in-hospital mortality risk



– Reduction of readmission rates among individuals hospitalized for an acute exacerbation of COPD could reduce mortality and health care expenditures, results of a large, retrospective study suggest.

Readmission within 30 days of hospitalization, often for reasons other than COPD, was linked to a fourfold increase in mortality and a “staggering” health care economic burden, said researcher Anand Muthu Krishnan, MBBS, an from the University of Connecticut, Farmington.

“This is not a small problem,” Dr. Krishnan said in a podium presentation at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians. “The amount of money that can be saved can be put into primary care for curbing COPD and better patient outcomes, basically, if you’re able to put in checkpoints to stop this problem.”

Bundled care interventions by interdisciplinary teams have thus far proven effective at improving quality of care and improving process measures in this setting, said Dr. Krishnan.

The retrospective cohort study by Dr. Krishnan and colleagues included 530,229 adult patients in the 2016 National Readmission Database who had a principal diagnosis of acute COPD exacerbation. The mean age of the patients was 68 years, and 58% were female.

The rates of readmission at 30 days after discharge were 16.3% for any cause and 5.4% specifically for COPD, the researchers found. Of note, the in-hospital mortality rate increased from 1.1% to 3.8% during readmission (P less than .01), Dr. Krishnan said.

Readmissions were linked to a cumulative length of stay of 458,677 days, with corresponding hospital costs of $0.97 billion and charges of $4.0 billion; the COPD-specific readmissions were associated with cumulative length of stay of 132,026 days, costs of $253 million, and charges of $1 billion, Dr. Krishnan reported.

Dr. Krishnan and coauthors disclosed no relationships relevant to their study.

SOURCE: Krishnan AM et al. CHEST 2019. Abstract, doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2019.08.229.

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