Tag Archives: UNT Dallas College of Law

$3.4 Million Savings and Breathin’ Easy

A recent East Texas COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) educational study saved their health care system more than $3.4 million…savings worth a COPDers cough or two and huge savings for tax payers.

We don’t use catch the disease early by offering simple spirometry testing with minimal expense and time – saving money and grief in the home stretch.

The educational opportunities here in Kitsap County are almost non-existent.  Today’s Better Breather’s Support and Educational Group meeting at Harrison Silverdale is a once a month offering from Harrison Medical Center.   http://pugetsoundblogs.com/copd-and-other-stuff/2011/03/14/lung-disease-meeting-wednesday/

Teaching patients what we can do to help ourselves at little to no public expense could easily be done in a few minutes, in a few sentences by the doctor during a standard visit in the doctor’s office.  Mention the benefit of walking – proper breathing – a pulmonary rehab program – help patients help themselves.  Let them know they CAN improve their quality of life – tell them how, depending on the patient health situation.  If not their doctor – who?

Yesterday during the pool work-out with Coach Marilyn, I raised my left leg (bone on bone hip) about a foot high.  The range of motion has dramatically improved.  When we began, I could only raise that leg an inch or two and my left ankle didn’t move.  No pain pills masking the pain – only an innovative trainer teaching her student to wake up those forgotten muscles in a non-harmful buoyant water environment.

In my dreams-why not?!

“UNT Dallas College of LawA new report released by the UNT Health Science Center shows that residents of 12 counties in East Texas are breathing a little easier due in part to a year-long education campaign conducted by the Center for Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) regarding the diagnosis and treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The report shows that the educational program contributed to approximately 50% fewer hospital admissions due to complications of COPD, which saved the Texas’ health care system $3.4 million.

The educational initiative, proposed and conducted by the UNTHSC and funded by Boehringer Ingelheim and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), educated more than 350 health care professionals in the rural areas of East Texas to improve their ability to talk to patients about the condition and more accurately test for and treat COPD.

COPD is responsible for one death every four minutes in the US and at least 12 million cases remain undiagnosed.

Between 2005 and 2008 in Texas, COPD was responsible for more than 109,000 hospitalizations costing more than $2.7 billion. The Health Science Center researched Texas health data and current literature, which formed the basis of the proposal. The grant requests were funded, and UNTHSC independently launched a series of continuing medical education (CME) activities and follow-up cases targeting the counties in East Texas with the highest rates of preventable hospitalizations due to COPD.

To measure the long-term outcomes, researchers looked at the number of prescriptions for drugs recommended to treat COPD, the number of new diagnoses and the number of potentially preventable hospitalizations caused by COPD reported by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The Texas Public Use Data File, a combined set of statistics reported by each hospital in the state, shows that two to three months before the health care providers in these counties attended the activities, there were 1,538 potentially preventable hospitalizations due to COPD. In the same time period following the programs, only 1,402 were observed — a reduction of 136. The data also show that other counties of similar size and population saw reductions, but the counties targeted by the study saw a 49% greater reduction, saving the health care system more than $3.4 million”

http://untsystem.unt.edu/news/2011/march/11-03-08-unthsc-copd.htm

More later… Sharon O’Hara