Fighting a progressive lung disease
COPD is a slow, progressive lung disease that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of COPD, and 15-20 percent of all smokers develop clinically significant COPD. The fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., COPD affects approximately 10 million adults and many more that have the disease but have not been diagnosed.
COPD health care costs nearly 2.5 times as much as asthma with an annual financial impact of $37.2 billion. North Carolina Medicaid patients with COPD are 4.7 times more costly than the average Medicaid recipient.
In 2006, Community Care began a COPD Disease Management Program as a pilot initiative in response to a legislative directive to expand disease management programs as well as network and provider interest in COPD. The COPD pilot initiative utilizes a Disease Management Model based on Community Care’s Asthma Disease Management Program. Five networks elected to pilot the COPD initiative. From that base, the program have expanded across North Carolina.