Rehospitalization risks and outcomes in COPD patients receiving maintenance pharmacotherapy

Anand A Dalal, Manan Shah, Anna O D'Souza, Glenn D Crater
Respiratory Medicine 2012, 106 (6): 829-37

OBJECTIVE: To determine clinical and economic outcomes following COPD-related hospitalization/emergency department (ED) care in patients receiving COPD maintenance therapy.

METHODS: In this retrospective, observational study using administrative claims data, we identified COPD patients age ≥40 years who received maintenance therapy within 30 days of an initial COPD-related hospitalization or ED visit with: (1) fluticasone propionate/salmeterol combination (FSC 250 mcg/50 mcg) as new therapy, or (2) an anticholinergic (AC; tiotropium or ipratropium with or without albuterol). The FSC and AC patients were matched (1:3 ratio) on various baseline characteristics using propensity scores to mitigate selection bias at baseline. The proportion of patients with COPD-related healthcare events, the mean event rates, and the mean costs in the subsequent 12 months were calculated.

RESULTS: The FSC cohort (N = 484) had a significantly lower proportion of rehospitalized patients during follow-up than did the AC cohort (N = 1452), 3.1% versus 4.6% (P = 0.047). The mean number of rehospitalizations was 0.03 in the FSC cohort and 0.07 in the AC cohort (P = 0.001). The proportion of patients with an exacerbation resulting in an ED or physician-outpatient visit and the mean number of such visits did not differ between cohorts. Total annual COPD-related medical costs were lower for FSC than for AC ($2080 versus $2636, P = 0.006), with lower medical and higher pharmacy costs.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients receiving FSC as maintenance therapy following an initial COPD-related hospitalization or ED visit experienced better clinical and economic outcomes than patients receiving AC.

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