Costs associated with COPD on the rise, report says

Friday, July 25, 2014

GLENVIEW, Ill. – Medical costs related to COPD will rise from $32.1 billion in 2010 to $49 billion in 2020, the American College of Chest Physicians estimates in a new report.

The group, which presented its findings to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on July 24, also estimate absenteeism costs were $3.9 billion in 2010, for a total of $36 billion in costs attributable to COPD.

Private insurance picked up the tab for 18% of the medial costs associated with COPD, while Medicare paid 51% and Medicaid paid 25%, according to the report.

"Evidence-based interventions that prevent and reduce tobacco use and reduce clinical complications of COPD may result in potential decreased COPD-attributable costs," said Earl Ford, MD, Division of Population Health, CDC, in a statement.

In 2011, 12.7 million adults in the U.S. were believed to have COPD. However, nearly 24 million have evidence of impaired lung function, indicating an under-diagnosis of the disease, according to the report.