According to this study, COPD totaled $1.1 billion for hospitalization charges excluding professional fees in 2009. Of which, eighty percent were Medicare or Medicaid charges. The average hospitalization rate was $24,975 in 2009 with one out of three of these hospitalizations being Illinois residents under the age of 65, making COPD not only a taxpayer’s issue, but an employment issue as well.
“COPD is no longer an ‘old man’s disease’,”
Additionally, COPD rates are highest in rural counties in Illinois at a rate of 6.6 per 1,000 people over the age of 45. This rate is nearly three times higher than metro collar counties and Chicago.
“Hospitalization rates for COPD are declining,” says Heins Nesvold “but regional trends show an increase in emergency department visits.” Many of these hospitalizations and emergency department visits are preventable. COPD is a preventable disease that attributes smoking as its number one cause. Additionally, many patients are not properly diagnosed or treated for their COPD causing high readmission rates and a need for doctor and patient education.
The American Lung Association in Illinois undertook this COPD surveillance study as the state’s leader in COPD patient and professional education. This data will provide guidance to the goals and objectives listed in the May 2008 Illinois COPD State Plan. In addition, this data will guide the future direction of the American Lung Association in Illinois and Greater Chicago. This data has never before been available to health care and public health professionals in Illinois. More information the Scope of COPD in Illinois is available at www.lungil.org.
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The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health & preventing lung disease. Through research, education & advocacy, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air”.