Sleep apnea and hospital readmissions: CPAP adherence matters

Sleep apnea and hospital readmissions: CPAP adherence matters

A new study of patients with obstructive sleep apnea suggests that non-adherence to continuous positive airway pressure therapy, or CPAP, is tightly linked with an increase in 30-day hospital readmissions.

The results showed that non-adherent patients were three times more likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days for any cause. They also were twice as likely to be readmitted for cardiovascular reasons; the leading cardiovascular causes for readmission in these patients were atrial fibrillation, myocardial ischemia and congestive heart failure, all of which are connected to untreated sleep apnea.

Many hospitals are trying to drive down their 30-day readmission rates in order to avoid financial penalties. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services effectively withhold reimbursement to hospitals that fare worse than their peers when it comes to keeping patients out of the hospital. According to Loopback Analytics, hospitals were penalized about $108 million more in 2017 than in the previous year for readmissions alone.

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