COPD Trends Brief: Burden

COPD creates a significant health care burden, which includes hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and economic costs.

Hospitalizations

  • From 2000 to 2015, the COPD hospitalization rate did not change on average year to year.
  • In 2020, there were more than 335,000 COPD hospitalizations, or 101.3 per 100,000 population.
  • From 2016 to 2020, the COPD hospitalization rate decreased an average of 15 percentage points per year.
  • The decrease in 2020 was presumably due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent avoidance of and limited capacity in healthcare facilities.

Emergency Department Visits

  • From 2006 to 2014, the COPD emergency department visit rate increased an average of 4 percentage points per year.
  • In 2020, there were 925,000 COPD emergency department visits, or 279.1 per 100,000 population.
  • From 2016 to 2020, the COPD emergency department visit rate decreased an average of 8 percentage points per year.

Medical Cost

  • The medical cost of COPD is $24.0 billion each year among adults 45 years of age and older, including $11.9 billion in prescription drug costs, $6.3 billion in inpatient costs, $2.4 billion in office-based costs, $1.6 billion in home health costs, $900 million in emergency room costs, and $800 million in outpatient costs.
  • COPD medical costs are $4,322 per patient each year on average.
  • Average COPD medical costs per year increased 72% from 2000 to 2018, including an increase in prescription drug costs of eight times.
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