Study objectives: To examine the impact of adherence to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy on health care utilization among a nationally representative and sample of older adults with multiple morbidities and pre-existing cardiovascular disease and subsequently diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea in the United States.
Methods: Our data source was a random 5% sample of Medicare administrative claims data. All participants (n = 1,921) were of age ≥ 65 years, diagnosed with cardiovascular disease and obstructive sleep apnea, and subsequently began treatment with CPAP between 2009-2013. Based on the number of CPAP machine charges, individuals were categorized as low, partial, or high adherers (ie, < 4, 4-12, and > 12 CPAP charges, respectively). The impact of CPAP adherence status on health care utilization was assessed across multiple points of service, including outpatient encounters, inpatient stays, emergency department visits, and prescription fills over 24 months following CPAP initiation.
Results: Significant differences in demographic and comorbid disease characteristics were observed between low adherers (n = 377), partial adherers (n = 236), and high adherers (n = 1,308). After adjusting for covariates and relative to low adherers, high adherers demonstrated reduced inpatient visits (hazard ratio 0.75; 95% confidence interval 0.57, 0.97).
Conclusions: In this nationally representative sample of older Medicare beneficiaries with multiple morbidities and relative to low adherers, high adherers demonstrated reduced inpatient utilization.
Citation: Wickwire EM, Bailey MD, Somers VK, et al. CPAP adherence is associated with reduced inpatient utilization among older adult Medicare beneficiaries with pre-existing cardiovascular disease. J Clin Sleep Med. 2022;18(1):39-45.
Keywords: CPAP; Medicare; cardiovascular; costs; health care utilization; health economics; multimorbidity; obstructive sleep apnea; older adults; positive airway pressure; sleep; treatment.
© 2022 American Academy of Sleep Medicine.