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Med Care. 2018 Nov;56(11):901-907. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000000963.

Does Providing Positive Airway Pressure for Sleep Apnea Change Health Care Utilization?

Author information

1
Department of Research and Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Pasadena.
2
Los Angeles Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Los Angeles.
3
Fontana Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Fontana, CA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Sleep apnea is underdiagnosed and thus undertreated. If therapy for sleep apnea results in reduced health care utilization in an entire treated population, then decision-makers will have key information for allocating limited health care resources.

OBJECTIVES:

To determine whether positive airway pressure (PAP) for sleep apnea was associated with reduced health care utilization in an entire treated population.

RESEARCH DESIGN:

This was a retrospective cohort; propensity score-matched cases and noncases; pre-post analyses of individual subject utilization.

SUBJECTS:

Electronic health records were used to identify adult subjects diagnosed with sleep apnea and dispensed PAP therapy (cases) and those without either diagnosed sleep apnea or dispensed PAP therapy (noncases).

MEASURES:

Acute care hospital days and dispensed medication days supply were compared in cases and noncases. Negative binomial regression was used to model utilization for up to 5 years before and 7 years after PAP dispensation (cases) or a random date (noncases). The association of PAP with changing annual utilization was estimated.

RESULTS:

There were 13,271 cases and 13,271 matched noncases from 2008 to 2012 for analyses. Trends in the annual rate of acute care utilization were no different between cases and noncases (rate ratio, 0.98, P=0.543). Trends in the annual rate of medication utilization were no different between cases and noncases (rate ratio, 1.008, P=0.112).

CONCLUSIONS:

PAP dispensation for sleep apnea did not appear to reduce the rate of acute care and medication utilization over several years of follow-up in a large integrated health care system.

PMID:
30015723
DOI:
10.1097/MLR.0000000000000963
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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