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COPD affects worker productivity and health care costs

Authors Patel JG, Coutinho AD, Lunacsek OE, Dalal AA

Received 25 January 2018

Accepted for publication 26 April 2018

Published 30 July 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 2301—2311

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S163795

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell


Jeetvan G Patel,1 Anna D Coutinho,2 Orsolya E Lunacsek,2 Anand A Dalal3

1Global Health Economics, Amgen, Thousand Oaks, CA, USA; 2AmerisourceBergen, Xcenda, Palm Harbor, FL, USA; 3US Health Economics and Outcomes Research, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, East Hanover, NJ, USA

Purpose: This study aimed to measure the true burden of COPD by calculating incremental direct and indirect costs. Direct medical resource use, productivity metrics, and COPD-specific resource use and costs were also evaluated.
Patients and methods: This was a retrospective, observational, matched cohort study using administrative claims data from the Truven Health MarketScan® Commercial Claims and Encounters and the Health and Productivity Management databases (2007-2010). Working-age (18–65 years) patients with COPD were identified as having at least one hospitalization or one emergency department visit or two outpatient visits. Patients in the non-COPD cohort did not have a diagnosis of COPD during the study period. Outcomes were evaluated in the first full calendar year after the year of identification (index).
Results: Of the 5,701 patients with COPD identified, 3.6% patients were frequent exacerbators (≥2), 10.4% patients were infrequent exacerbators (1), and 86% patients were non-exacerbators (0). When compared with the 17,103 patients without COPD, the incremental direct cost of COPD was estimated at $6,246/patient/year (95% confidence interval: $4,620, $8,623; P<0.001). Loss in productivity was significantly greater in patients with COPD, with an average of 5 more days/year of absence from work and incremental indirect costs from short-term disability of $641 (P<0.001). Direct costs for frequent exacerbators ($17,651/year) and infrequent exacerbators ($14,501/year) were significantly higher than those for non-exacerbators ($11,395, P<0.001).
Conclusion: Working-age patients with COPD incur statistically significantly higher direct and indirect costs and use more resources compared with those who do not have COPD.

Keywords: COPD, productivity, cost, employer, exacerbation, resource

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