Korean J Hosp Palliat Care.  2018 Mar;21(1):23-32. 10.14475/kjhpc.2018.21.1.23.

Life-Sustaining Procedures, Palliative Care, and Cost Trends in Dying COPD Patients in U.S. Hospitals: 2005~2014

  • 1Department of Health Administration and Management, Soonchunhyang University, Asan, Korea.
  • 2Department of Health Care Administration and Policy, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV, USA.
  • 3School of Social Work, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA.
  • 4Department of Family Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 5Department of Family Medicine, University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Medicine, Las Vegas, NV, USA.
  • 6Department of Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, AZ, USA.
  • 7University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine, Reno, NV, USA.
  • 8Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Medicine, Las Vegas, NV, USA. ji.yoo@unlv.edu


Little is known regarding the extent to which dying patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) receive life-sustaining procedures and palliative care in U.S. hospitals. We examine hospital cost trends and the impact of palliative care utilization on the use of life-sustaining procedures in this population.
Retrospective nationwide cohort analysis was performed using National Inpatient Sample (NIS) data from 2005 and 2014. We examined the receipt of both palliative care and intensive medical procedures, defined as systemic procedures, pulmonary procedures, or surgeries using the International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision (ICD-9-CM).
We used compound annual growth rates (CAGR) to determine temporal trends and multilevel multivariate regressions to identify factors associated with hospital cost. Among 77,394,755 hospitalizations, 79,314 patients were examined. The CAGR of hospital cost was 5.83% (P < 0.001). The CAGRs of systemic procedures and palliative care were 5.98% and 19.89% respectively (each P < 0.001). Systemic procedures, pulmonary procedures, and surgeries were associated with increased hospital cost by 59.04%, 72.00%, 55.26%, respectively (each P < 0.001). Palliative care was associated with decreased hospital cost by 28.71% (P < 0.001).
The volume of systemic procedures is the biggest driver of cost increase although there is a cost-saving effect from greater palliative care utilization.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Costs and cost analysis; Health policy; Palliative care; Interrupted time series analysis

MeSH Terms

Cohort Studies
Costs and Cost Analysis
Health Policy
Hospital Costs
International Classification of Diseases
Interrupted Time Series Analysis
Palliative Care*
Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive*
Retrospective Studies
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