Few estimates of health care costs related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are available regarding commercially insured patients in the United States. The aims of this retrospective observational analysis of administrative data were to describe and compare health care resource use and costs related to COPD in the United States for patients with commercial insurance or Medicare Advantage with Part D benefits, and to assess cost trends over time.
Patient-level and visit-level health care costs in the calendar years 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 were assessed for patients with evidence of COPD. Generalized linear models adjusting for sex, age category, and geographic region were used to investigate cost trends over time for patients with Medicare or commercial insurance.
Medical costs, which ranged from an annual mean of US$2382 (Medicare 2007) to US$3339 (commercial 2009) per patient, comprised the majority of total costs in all years for patients with either type of insurance. COPD-related costs were less for Medicare than commercial cohorts. In the multivariate analysis, total costs increased by approximately 6% per year for commercial insurance patients (cost ratio 1.06; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04–1.07; P < 0.001) and 5% per year for Medicare patients (cost ratio 1.05; 95% CI 1.03–1.07; P < 0.001). Costs for outpatient and emergency department visits increased significantly over time in both populations. Standard admission costs increased significantly for Medicare patients (cost ratio 1.03; 95% CI 1.00–1.05; P = 0.03), but not commercial patients, and costs for intensive care unit visits remained stable for both populations.