Association between continuity of care and emergency department visits and hospitalization in senior adults with asthma-COPD overlap
OBJECTIVE: To investigate associations between continuity of care (COC) and emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalization for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma among elderly adults with asthma-COPD overlap (ACO). METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was performed using the Taiwan National Health Insurance research database. A total of 1141 ACO patients aged ≥65 years during 2005-2011 were observed and followed for 2 years. The Bice and Boxerman COC index (COCI) was used to evaluate COC by considering ambulatory care visits duo to COPD or asthma in the first year; ED visits and hospitalization for COPD or asthma were identified in the subsequent year, respectively. The COCI was divided into three levels (COCI < 0.3= low, 0.3 ≤ COCI<1=medium, COCI = 1=high). The Cox model was used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) for ED visits and hospital admissions due to COPD or asthma. RESULTS: The average COCI was 0.55. 21.3% patients received outpatient care from a single physician. Compared to patients with high COC, those with low and medium COC had a higher risk of ED visits (aHR = 2.80 and 2.69, P < .01) and admissions (aHR = 1.80 and 1.72, P < .05). CONCLUSION: Increasing COC is beneficial for elderly patients with ACO in disease management. Policymakers could create effective pay-for-performance programs for the elderly ACO population to enhance COC and improve care outcomes.