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Study: NIV at home shows benefits, but underutilized

Study: NIV at home shows benefits, but underutilized

LAFAYETTE, La. – A recent study showing positive outcomes for patients treated with non-invasive ventilation at home is a step toward closing a “data gap” that prevents more patients from benefiting from the therapy, says Dr. William Fraizer, chief medical officer for Viemed Healthcare.

Patients treated with NIV at home had a 50% decrease in all-cause mortality during the study period; a 28% decline in the risk of hospitalization; and a 52% reduction in the risk of an emergency room visit. 

“We’re showing improvements in survival, reductions in hospitalization and reductions in ER visits by using NIVH for patients with COPD with chronic respiratory failure,” said Fraizer. “That’s never been demonstrated in the U.S.”

The study, performed in conjunction with Precision Health Economics, analyzed data obtained from the Medicare Limited Data Set and included patients who were diagnosed with COPD and CRF between 2012 and 2018.  

The use of NIV at home is still relatively new, says Fraizer, who estimates that only 3% to 5% of eligible COPD patients with CRF are currently on the therapy.

“While we’ve seen an uptake, there are still so many patients not being treated,” he said. “There’s a data and knowledge gap. People seem to think it works and this is proving that. This is a big step in helping close that data gap.”

Although the current study does not include an economic analysis – that’s the next project, says Fraizer – it seems likely that increased use of NIV at home will, ultimately, lead to a decrease in costs to the health care system, he said. That’s attractive to policymakers.

“There’s a huge, big push in the U.S. to get patients home,” he said. “Health care utilization decreases and I think that’s huge for policymakers, payers and physicians to know.”


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