COPD Foundation Works to Lower Hospital Readmission Rates

COPD Foundation Works to Lower Hospital Readmission Rates

Predixion Software, an Aliso Viejo, California, advanced analytics software developer, and the Carolinas HealthCare System have been selected by the COPD Foundation to deliver the world’s first program to predict and prevent hospital readmissions for COPD patients with co-morbidities.

While some 12 million Americans have a formal COPD diagnosis, an estimated 12 million more may have the disease and go undiagnosed. The COPD Foundation believes total cases — diagnosed and undiagnosed — could be as many as 30 million. The two most prevalent forms of COPD, chronic bronchitis and emphysema, both cause airway blockage, resulting in shortness of breath, chronic productive coughing that produces large amounts of mucus, chest tightness and/or wheezing, and other symptoms. Laboring to breathe can limit activity, diminish quality of life, and put extra strain on the heart.

The American Lung Association notes that COPD is a major cause of disability, with one of the highest rates of unplanned hospital readmissions. Approximately 20 percent of patients hospitalized with COPD exacerbations are readmitted within 30 days, and exacerbation costs account for nearly 70 percent of the estimated $50 billion in annual COPD expenditures, with readmission-related expenses ranking third highest among Medicare beneficiaries.

The COPD Foundation notes that there has been little study to date of the role comorbidities play in the rate of hospital readmissions, or into the specific issues that can trigger a readmission. With the selection of Predixion and the Carolinas HealthCare System, the Foundation now can build a predictive model specifically to reduce this risk.

WalshJ“Eliminating unnecessary readmissions related to COPD is critical for advancing the goals of healthcare reform,” says COPD Foundation president and founder John W. Walsh in a release. “Finding solutions for COPD readmissions, especially for the patient who has co-morbidities, will have a great impact on improving health outcomes for millions.”

“It has been difficult to study COPD, because patients often have additional risk factors that contribute to the severity/seriousness of their conditions,” comments Deborah McGowan, senior director of Health Outcomes, COPD Foundation. “Now we have the technology and the team to leverage hospital specific data and real-time risk stratification to prompt patient-specific interventions for those at risk of readmission.”

“The COPD Foundation initiative leverages our strong and ongoing partnership with Carolinas HealthCare System to offer real-time advanced analytics at the point of care for forward thinking healthcare facilities,” notes  Nish Hartman, VP Healthcare, Predixion Software. “The ability to provide actionable insights directly to the clinical team so they can take action right at the point of care helps Predixion, CHS and the COPD Foundation achieve our collective mission — to improve patient outcomes.”

CHS provides a full spectrum of healthcare and wellness programs throughout North and South Carolina with a diverse network of more than 900 care locations that include academic medical centers, hospitals, healthcare pavilions, physician practices, destination centers, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing homes, and hospice and palliative care.

Carolinas HealthCare System is nationally recognized for providing quality health care, including its work in leveraging data and analytics to improve patient outcomes through predictive modeling and population health management. Over the past several years, the system has reduced system-wide readmissions by nearly 16 percent and prevented more than 9,800 potential patient safety events.

wrightJ“Carolinas HealthCare System has been focused on improving the care for patients with COPD for several years and our work with Predixion has helped us to sharpen our focus on the patients who are at the highest risk of readmission,” says Dr. Jean Wright, MD, MBA, Carolinas HealthCare System vice president of Innovation. “Our providers, case managers, and the entire care team will have the insights they need to better plan for and predict patient outcomes based upon their individual disease and co-morbidities, ensuring each patient’s specific risk will drive their individualized care.” Dr. Wright is responsible for leading initiatives throughout the System, with a focus on working with teams to raise the bar for improvement in new clinical strategies, novel medical technologies, new business development, innovation design, and the spread of innovation across the system

Predixion Insight, a cloud-based analytics platform, provides real-time, advanced analytics at the decision point in order to improve outcomes.

Readmission Insight, based on Predixion Insight, addresses hospital readmissions by providing an easy-to-use solution that enables clinicians to make real-time decisions and apply the best patient therapies directly at the point of care. Readmission Insight leverages real-time clinical data from EHR systems and predictive analytics to risk-stratify patients at hospital admission in order to identify each patient’s key comorbidities and risk factors. In this way, Readmission Insight enables clinicians to improve point-of-care decisions by tailoring them to the individual and by identifying those patients at risk of readmission with 79% accuracy before they leave the hospital.

Predixion’s Readmission Insight enables clinicians to:
• Identify the patient risks and comorbidities for COPD patients
• Target patient interventions with real-time risk assessment at the point of care
• Integrate risk scores directly into care process from admissions to discharge planning
• Reduce readmissions by improving quality of care for patients



Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a prevalent cause of death in the U.S., affecting an estimated 24 million people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COPD ranks third (138,080) after heart disease (597,689) and cancers (574,743). The leading cause of COPD is cigarette smoking. According to the National Institutes of Health, 42 percent of COPD sufferers are former smokers and 34 percent are current smokers. The remaining cases — a substantial 24 percent — are believed to result from exposure to other lung irritants, such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust, especially over long terms.

For more information about Predixion, visit

For more information about the COPD Foundation, call the C.O.P.D. Information Line at 1-866-316-COPD (2673) or visit

Predixion Software
The COPD Foundation
Carolinas HealthCare System
National Institutes of Health
American Lung Association
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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