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Factors contributing to hospitalization costs for patients with COPD in China: a retrospective analysis of medical record data

Authors Li M, Wang FY, Chen R, Liang Z, Zhou Y, Yang Y, Chen S, Ung COL, Hu H

Received 23 May 2018

Accepted for publication 3 September 2018

Published 12 October 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 3349—3357


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Meng Li,1 Fengyan Wang,2 Rongchang Chen,2 Zhenyu Liang,2 Yumin Zhou,2 Yuqiong Yang,2 Shengqi Chen,1 Carolina Oi Lam Ung,1 Hao Hu1

1State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Macao; 2State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease, National Clinical Research Center for Respiratory Disease, Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Health, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou China

Purpose: Hospitalization brings considerable economic pressure on COPD patients in China. A clear understanding of hospitalization costs for patients with COPD is warranted to improve treatment strategies and to control costs. Currently, investigation on factors contributing to hospitalization costs for patients with COPD in China is limited. This study aimed to measure the hospitalization costs of COPD and to determine the contributing factors.
Patients and methods: Medical record data from the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University from January 2016 to December 2016 were used for a retrospective analysis. Patients who were hospitalized with a diagnosis of COPD were included. Patient characteristics, medical treatment, and hospitalization costs were analyzed by descriptive statistics and multivariable regression.
Results: Among the 1,943 patients included in this study, 87.85% patients were male; the mean (SD) age was 71.15 (9.79) years; 94.49% patients had comorbidities; and 82.30% patients had health insurance. Regarding medical treatment, the mean (SD) length of stay was 9.38 (7.65) days; 11.12% patients underwent surgery; 87.91% used antibiotics; and 4.53% underwent emergency treatment. For hospitalization costs, the mean (SD) of the total costs per COPD patient per admission was 24,372.75 (44,173.87) CNY (3,669.33 [6,650.38] USD), in which Western medicine fee was the biggest contributor (45.53%) followed by diagnosis fee (27.00%) and comprehensive medical fee (12.04%). Regression found that reimbursement (-0.032; 95% CI -0.046 to 0.007), length of stay (0.738; 95% CI 0.832–0.892), comorbidity (0.044; 95% CI 0.029–0.093), surgery (0.145; 95% CI 0.120–0.170), antibiotic use (0.086; 95% CI 0.060–0.107), and emergency treatment (0.121; 95% CI 0.147–0.219) were significantly (P<0.01) associated with total hospitalization costs.
Conclusion: To control hospitalization costs for COPD patients in China, the significance of comorbidity, length of stay, antibiotic use, surgery, and emergency treatment suggests the importance of controlling the COPD progression and following clinical guidelines for inpatients. Interventions such as examination of pulmonary function for early detection, quality control of medical treatment, and patient education warrant further investigation.

Keywords: COPD, economic burden, hospitalization costs, medical cost, multivariate regression

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