Early diagnosis and effective therapies are vital for COPD patients. Early COPD symptoms often include shortness of breath, chronic cough, body fatigue and chest tightness that often develop slowly and subtly. As there is no ‘one size fits all’ therapy for COPD patients, the medical team should work with their patients to find the best combination of technology, medications, and lifestyle changes to manage their condition.
Minimizing COPD exacerbations not only prolongs survival, improves quality of life and allows patients to remain active – but also reduces healthcare utilization and costs. In an effort to reduce COPD-related hospital readmissions, a recent Philips-sponsored retrospective study revealed that only 7.5 percent of 1.8 million COPD patients in the U.S. actually receive any form of PAP therapy. In another report, a health system in Alabama recently partnered with Philips to institute an integrated COPD care initiative that specifically looked at reducing hospital readmission rates and costs in patients with COPD. Through the implementation of published, evidence-based care strategies, this initiative helped the health system reduce 30-day hospital readmissions by 80 percent and avoid penalties over the course of three fiscal quarters in 2017, resulting in nearly $1.3 million in savings.