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Study Identifies Factors Associated with COPD Readmissions

May 24, 2018

A recent study in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society identified the leading factors associated with readmissions after acute exacerbations in COPD patients in order to inform risk stratification algorithms.

“Understanding the causes and factors related to readmission for an acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease within a nationwide database including all payers and ages can provide valuable input for the development of generalizable readmission reduction strategies,” David Jacobs, PharmD, of the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and colleagues wrote.

In order for the researchers to identify rates of COPD, causes, and predictors for readmissions in COPD patients, they used data from the Nationwide Readmission Database. They measured for the percentage of 30-day readmissions and the most common readmission diagnoses at 3, 7, and 30 days after discharge. They then categorized predictive factors into three categories: patient, clinical, and hospital.

The researchers found that of 1,055,830 COPD admissions there were 202,300 30-day readmissions—with the highest rate of readmissions within 3 days of discharge. Further, COPD was the most common diagnosis during readmissions, at 28.4%.

Study findings showed that patient factors associated with COPD readmissions were Medicare payer status, lower household income, and comorbidity burdens. The researchers also found clinical factors associated with readmissions, including longer length of stay and being discharged to a skilled nursing facility within 30-days.

“Thirty-day readmissions after an acute exacerbation of COPD remain a major health care burden and are characterized by a similar spectrum of readmission diagnoses,” Dr Jacobs and colleagues concluded. “Development of a COPD-specific risk stratification algorithm based on these factors may be necessary to better predict an acute exacerbation of COPD patients at high risk of early readmission.”

David Costill

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