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      An analysis of the economic and patient outcome impact of an integrated COPD service in east London

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          Exacerbations of COPD carry a huge burden of morbidity and a significant economic impact. It has been shown that home care may be useful for exacerbations of COPD. This article presents a review of an integrated COPD service in east London. Hospital Episode Statistics, Public Health Mortality Files and clinical data were used to analyze differences in health care usage and COPD patient outcomes, including COPD assessment test (CAT) scores for a subsample, before and after the introduction of the integrated service. There was a significant (30%) reduction in the number of hospital bed days for COPD patients ( P<0.05), alongside a significant increase in patients with only a short stay (0–1 days) in hospital ( P<0.0001). There was a significant increase in the number of patients dying outside of hospital (a proxy for quality of end-of-life care) following introduction of the service ( P=0.00015). Patients also reported a clinically significant improvement in CAT scores. A locally developed economic model shows that the economic benefits of the service (via impact on place of death and reduction in length of hospital stay) were almost equal to the cost of the service. The increase in proportion of short-stay admissions and the reduction in bed days suggest an impact of the service on early supported discharge and that this along with an improvement in patient clinical outcomes and in quality of end-of-life care shows that an exemplar integrated COPD service can provide benefits that equate to a nearly cost-neutral service.

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          Most cited references 22

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          Integrated care prevents hospitalisations for exacerbations in COPD patients.

          Hospital admissions due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations have a major impact on the disease evolution and costs. The current authors postulated that a simple and well-standardised, low-intensity integrated care intervention can be effective to prevent such hospitalisations. Therefore, 155 exacerbated COPD patients (17% females) were recruited after hospital discharge from centres in Barcelona (Spain) and Leuven (Belgium). They were randomly assigned to either integrated care (IC; n = 65; age mean+/-sd 70+/-9 yrs; forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV(1)) 1.1+/-0.5 L, 43% predicted) or usual care (UC; n = 90; age 72+/-9 yrs; FEV(1) 1.1+/-0.05 L, 41% pred). The IC intervention consisted of an individually tailored care plan upon discharge shared with the primary care team, as well as accessibility to a specialised nurse case manager through a web-based call centre. After 12 months' follow-up, IC showed a lower hospitalisation rate (1.5+/-2.6 versus 2.1+/-3.1) and a higher percentage of patients without re-admissions (49 versus 31%) than UC without differences in mortality (19 versus 16%, respectively). In conclusion, this trial demonstrates that a standardised integrated care intervention, based on shared care arrangements among different levels of the system with support of information technologies, effectively prevents hospitalisations for exacerbations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients.
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            Impact of exacerbations on COPD.

             A Anzueto (2010)
            Exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) determine disease-associated morbidity, mortality, resource burden and healthcare costs. Acute exacerbation care requirements range from unscheduled primary care visits to emergency room, inpatient or intensive care, generating significant costs in COPD. Even after an exacerbation resolves, respiratory, physical, social and emotional impairment may persist for prolonged time. Frequent exacerbations, mainly in patients with severe COPD, accelerate disease progression and mortality. Thus, patients with frequent exacerbations have a more rapid decline in lung function, worse quality of life and decreased exercise performance. Management of COPD directed to reduce incidence and severity of exacerbations improves long-term health status and conserves health care resources and costs.
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              The economic impact of exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and exacerbation definition: a review.

              Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) poses a significant economic burden on society, and a substantial portion is related to exacerbations of COPD. A literature review of the direct and indirect costs of COPD exacerbations was performed. A systematic search of the MEDLINE database from 1998-2008 was conducted and supplemented with searches of conference abstracts and article bibliographies. Articles that contained cost data related to COPD exacerbations were selected for in-depth review. Eleven studies examining healthcare costs associated with COPD exacerbations were identified. The estimated costs of exacerbations vary widely across studies: $88 to $7,757 per exacerbation (2007 US dollars). The largest component of the total costs of COPD exacerbations was typically hospitalization. Costs were highly correlated with exacerbation severity. Indirect costs have rarely been measured. The wide variability in the cost estimates reflected cross-study differences in geographic locations, treatment patterns, and patient populations. Important methodological differences also existed across studies. Researchers have used different definitions of exacerbation (e.g., symptom- versus event-based definitions), different tools to identify and measure exacerbations, and different classification systems to define exacerbation severity. Unreported exacerbations are common and may influence the long-term costs of exacerbations. Measurement of indirect costs will provide a more comprehensive picture of the burden of exacerbations. Evaluation of pharmacoeconomic analyses would be aided by the use of more consistent and comprehensive approaches to defining and measuring COPD exacerbations.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                06 June 2017
                : 12
                : 1653-1662
                [1 ]NHS City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group
                [2 ]Respiratory Medicine, Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
                [3 ]North East London Commissioning Support Unit, London
                [4 ]School of Health Sciences, University of Manchester
                [5 ]The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Anna Garner, NHS City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group, Third Floor ABlock, St Leonards, Nuttall Street, London N1 5LZ, UK, Tel +44 20 3816 3299, Email anna.garner@
                © 2017 Garner et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                health care, copd, integration, commissioning


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