Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease with chronic respiratory failure (COPD-CRF) experience high mortality and healthcare utilization. Non-invasive home ventilation (NIVH) is increasingly used in such patients. We examined the associations between NIVH and survival, hospitalizations, and emergency room (ER) use in COPD-CRF Medicare beneficiaries.
Retrospective cohort study using the Medicare Limited Data Set (2012-2018). Patients receiving NIVH within two months of CRF diagnosis (treatment group) were matched on demographic and clinical characteristics to patients never receiving NIVH (control group). CRF diagnosis was identified using ICD-9-CM/ICD-10-CM codes. Time to death, first hospitalization, and first ER visit were estimated using Cox regressions.
After matching, 517 patients receiving NIVH and 511 controls (mean age: 70.6 years, 44% male) were compared. NIVH significantly reduced risk of death (aHR: 0.50; 95%CI: 0.36-0.65), hospitalization (aHR: 0.72; 95%CI: 0.52-0.93), and ER visit (aHR: 0.48; 95%CI: 0.38-0.58) at diagnosis. The NIVH risk reduction became smaller over time for mortality and ER visits, but continued to accrue for hospitalizations. One-year post-diagnosis, 28% of treated patients died versus 46% controls. For hospitalizations and ER visits, 55% and 72% treated patients experienced an event, respectively, versus 67% and 92% controls. The relative risk reduction was 39% for mortality, 17% for hospitalizations, and 22% for ER visits. Number needed to treat were 5.5, 9, and 5 to prevent a death, hospitalization, or ER visit one-year post-diagnosis, respectively.
NIVH treatment is associated with reduced risk of death, hospitalizations, and ER visits among COPD-CRF Medicare beneficiaries.

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