Respi-Care. An innovative home care program for the patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Chest. 1991 Sep;100(3):607-12. doi: 10.1378/chest.100.3.607.


The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a hospital-based home care program for a group of patients with severe COPD. Respi-Care was a multidisciplinary home care program administered by Norwalk Hospital in cooperation with the public health nursing departments of the city of Norwalk and the town of Wilton, Conn. The overall goal of Respi-Care was to provide more comprehensive home care services to patients previously requiring frequent hospitalizations by combining the advantages of hospital resources and community agencies through a unique cooperative effort. Preprogram and on-program data were collected on the following variables for the 48 months of Respi-Care operation: hospitalizations; hospital days; emergency room visits; home care services; and the costs of these services. Costs of operating the Respi-Care program were included in on-program data. Seventeen subjects completed 320.5 months on Respi-Care. Each subject was matched to an equal length of time prior to entering the program, for a total of 641 months analyzed. There were 88 preprogram hospitalizations for the group; hospitalizations while participating in Respi-Care dropped to 53 (p = 0.022; paired t statistics). On-program hospital days showed a significant decrease, from 1,181 preprogram days to 667 on-program days (p = 0.024). Emergency room visits decreased from 105 before the program to 64 during the program (p = 0.017). Costs of care also decreased. Costs for hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and home care fell from $908,031 to $802,999, resulting in a $105,032 savings or $328 per patient per month.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Home Care Services* / economics
  • Hospitalization / economics
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / economics
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Respiratory Mechanics