Background: State Medicaid programs provide insurance coverage to over 40 million Americans. However, estimates of the annual cost of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) from the Medicaid perspective are lacking.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study used Medicaid administrative claims data from California and Florida to estimate COPD expenditures using two alternative methods: (1) excess costs (comparing a COPD cohort to a matched comparison cohort); and (2) attributable costs (COPD-related expenditures within a COPD cohort, inclusive of respiratory medications). The COPD cohort in each state included Medicaid recipients not dually eligible for Medicare who were 40+ years of age with at least one medical claim for COPD during 2001. The comparison cohort consisted of patients with medical claims during 2001 for conditions other than chronic respiratory disease, matched by age, sex, and race to the COPD cohort.
Results: A total of 6,738 Medicaid recipients in California and 18,017 in Florida were included in the COPD cohort, with mean ages of 56 and 60 years, respectively. Comorbidities, especially congestive heart failure and vascular disease, were more common in the COPD cohort than among matched controls. The mean excess cost of COPD per-patient was estimated to be approximately 6,500 US dollars in California Medicaid and 5,200 US dollars in Florida Medicaid. Mean attributable costs of COPD were similar in the two Medicaid programs (approximately 2,200 US dollars and 2,300 US dollars per patient, respectively).
Conclusions: COPD places a substantial financial burden on State Medicaid programs. These findings may be of interest to clinicians and policy-makers involved in preventing or managing this chronic disease.