Burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Medicare beneficiaries residing in long-term care facilities

Am J Geriatr Pharmacother. 2009 Oct;7(5):262-70. doi: 10.1016/j.amjopharm.2009.11.003.


Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. COPD increases health care resource utilization and spending and adversely affects quality of life. Data from the clinical and economic outcomes in Medicare beneficiaries with COPD who reside in long-term care (LTC) facilities are limited.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the clinical and economic outcomes associated with COPD in Medicare beneficiaries residing in LTC facilities.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study analyzed data from MarketScan Medicaid, a large US administrative claims database containing data on Medicaid programs in 8 states. The study cohort comprised LTC facility residents aged > or =60 years who had a diagnosis of COPD. Eligible patients also had a prescription filled between January 1, 2003, and June 30, 2005, for one of the following COPD treatments: fluticasone propionate + salmeterol xinafoate, tiotropium bromide, ipratropium bromide, or ipratropium bromide + albuterol sulfate. The date of the first prescription fill was considered the index date. Measures of health care resource utilization included COPD-related and all-cause hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits. Cost analysis outcomes included COPD-related and all-cause inpatient, outpatient, pharmacy, LTC, and total costs during the 12-month postindex period.

Results: Data from 3037 patients were included (63.0% women; 82.2% white; mean [SD] age, 78.1 [10.0] years). A total of 43.3% of patients had > or =1 hospitalization; 90.0%, > or =1 ED visit. With the exception of age <70 years, age was associated with all-cause hospitalization (age 70-<75 years, hazard ratio [HR] = 1.31 [95% CI, 1.03-1.68]; age 75-<80 years, HR = 1.40 [95% CI, 1.11-1.78]; age > or =80 years, HR = 1.48 [95% CI, 1.19-1.85]). Age was not associated with COPD-related hospitalization, all-cause ED visits, or COPD-related ED visits. The risk for all-cause hospitalization in white patients was significantly lower compared with that in nonwhite patients (HR = 0.79 [95% CI, 0.69-0.91]). Patients with comorbid asthma had a higher risk for a COPD-related ED visit (HR = 1.34 [95% CI, 1.08-1.66]) than did patients without asthma. Preindex all-cause hospitalization was associated with COPD-related hospitalization (HR = 1.78 [95% CI, 1.49-2.14]) and all-cause hospitalization (HR = 2.05 [95% CI, 1.932.19]). Twelve-month COPD-related and all-cause direct expenditures per beneficiary were US $7391 and $48,183. In COPD-related and all-cause estimates, mean (SD) LTC costs were the largest cost components ($5629 [$12,562] and $32,966 [$14,871], respectively), followed by pharmacy costs ($956 [$957] and $5565 [$3873]), inpatient costs ($466 [$3393] and $6436 [$22,603]), and outpatient costs ($341 [$1793] and $3216 [$6458]).

Conclusion: This study found that the utilization of health care resources and economic burden of LTC residents with COPD were primarily due to LTC, pharmacy, and inpatient costs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asthma / complications
  • Bronchodilator Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Databases, Factual
  • Drug Costs
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / economics
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / economics
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care / economics*
  • Male
  • Medicare / economics
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Homes / economics
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / economics*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States


  • Bronchodilator Agents