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      Long-acting bronchodilators with or without inhaled corticosteroids and 30-day readmission in patients hospitalized for COPD

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          The ability of a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) and long-acting beta 2 agonists (LABAs; long-acting bronchodilators, LABDs) with or without inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) to reduce early readmission in hospitalized patients with COPD is unknown.


          We studied a 5% sample of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare parts A, B and D and hospitalized for COPD in 2011. We examined prescriptions filled for LABDs with or without ICSs (LABDs±ICSs) within 90 days prior to and 30 days after hospitalization. Primary outcome was the 30-day readmission rate between “users” and “nonusers” of LABDs±ICSs. Propensity score matching and sensitivity analysis were performed by limiting analysis to patients hospitalized for acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD). Among 6,066 patients hospitalized for COPD, 3,747 (61.8%) used LABDs±ICSs during the specified period. The “user” and “nonuser” groups had similar rates of all-cause emergency room (ER) visits and readmissions within 30 days of discharge date (22.4% vs 20.7%, P-value 0.11; 18.0% vs 17.8%, P-value 0.85, respectively). However, the “users” had higher rates of COPD-related ER visits (5.3% vs 3.4%, P-value 0.0006), higher adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.47 (95% CI, 1.11–1.93) and readmission (7.8% vs 5.0%, P-value <0.0001 and aOR 1.48 [95% CI, 1.18–1.86]) than “nonusers”. After propensity score matching, the aOR of COPD-related ER visits was 1.45 (95% CI, 1.07–1.96) and that of readmission was 1.34 (95% CI, 1.04–1.73). The results were similar when restricted to patients hospitalized for AECOPD.


          Use of LABDs±ICSs did not reduce 30-day readmissions in patients hospitalized for COPD.

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          Most cited references 28

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          The natural history of chronic airflow obstruction.

          A prospective epidemiological study of the early stages of the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was performed on London working men. The findings showed that forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) falls gradually over a lifetime, but in most non-smokers and many smokers clinically significant airflow obstruction never develops. In susceptible people, however, smoking causes irreversible obstructive changes. If a susceptible smoker stops smoking he will not recover his lung function, but the average further rates of loss of FEV1 will revert to normal. Therefore, severe or fatal obstructive lung disease could be prevented by screening smokers' lung function in early middle age if those with reduced function could be induced to stop smoking. Infective processes and chronic mucus hypersecretion do not cause chronic airflow obstruction to progress more rapidly. There are thus two largely unrelated disease processes, chronic airflow obstruction and the hypersecretory disorder (including infective processes).
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            Outpatient follow-up visit and 30-day emergency department visit and readmission in patients hospitalized for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

            Readmissions in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are common and costly. We examined the effect of early follow-up visit with patient's primary care physician (PCP) or pulmonologist following acute hospitalization on the 30-day risk of an emergency department (ER) visit and readmission. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries with an identifiable PCP who were hospitalized for COPD between 1996 and 2006. Three or more visits to a PCP in the year prior to the hospitalization established a PCP for a patient. We performed a Cox proportional hazard regression with time-dependent covariates to determine the risk of 30-day ER visit and readmission in patients with or without a follow-up visit to their PCP or pulmonologist. Of the 62 746 patients admitted for COPD, 66.9% had a follow-up visit with their PCP or pulmonologist within 30 days of discharge. Factors associated with lower likelihood of outpatient follow-up visit were longer length of hospital stay, prior hospitalization for COPD, older age, black race, lower socioeconomic status, and emergency admission. Those receiving care at nonteaching, for-profit, and smaller-sized hospitals were more likely to have a follow-up visit. In a multivariate, time-dependent analysis, patients who had a follow-up visit had a significantly reduced risk of an ER visit (hazard ratio [HR], 0.86; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.83-0.90) and readmission (HR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.87-0.96). Continuity with patient's PCP or pulmonologist after an acute hospitalization may lower rates of ER visits and readmission in patients with COPD.
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              Project BOOST: effectiveness of a multihospital effort to reduce rehospitalization.

              Rehospitalization is a prominent target for healthcare quality improvement and performance-based reimbursement. The generalizability of existing evidence on best practices is unknown.

                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
                31 January 2017
                : 12
                : 477-486
                [1 ]Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
                [2 ]Office of Biostatistics
                [3 ]Sealy Center of Aging, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Raju Bishwakarma, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, 5.140 John Sealy Annex, Galveston, TX 77555-0561, USA, Tel +1 409 772 2436, Fax +1 409 772 9532, Email rajucentury@
                © 2017 Bishwakarma 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

                medicare, long-acting bronchodilators, readmission, copd


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