What measurement means for COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a group of lung diseases that includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, refractory asthma and some other diseases. All of these are diseases that make it difficult to breathe. COPD is caused by damage to the lungs over many years, generally due to smoking.

Recommended care for a new diagnosis of COPD in adults age 40 and older is to have a spirometry test. Breathing tests, including spirometry, measure airflow into your lungs. Spirometry is a common office test where you breathe into a tube attached to a machine called a spirometer. The results of the spirometry test can help doctors confirm a diagnosis of COPD as well as plan treatment based on how much air you inhale, exhale, and how quickly you exhale.

Finding out if you have COPD as soon as you can is important. While you cannot undo the damage to your lungs, treatment can slow the progress and help you feel better. You can also take steps to prevent more damage.

COPD symptoms can include:

  • A long-lasting cough
  • Having mucus come up when you cough
  • Shortness of breath that gets worse when you exercise
  • Wheezing

The statewide rate of recommended testing by all reporting medical groups to confirm a diagnosis of COPD for adults is 41%. This means 41 of 100 adults ages 40 and older had a spriometry test to confirm their COPD diagnosis.

High performance rates with the COPD measure can be a sign of strong clinical care for respiratory health. It’s important to know that small differences in percentages don’t necessarily reflect the quality of care you’ll receive with a certain medical group. It is more important to note the large differences between providers, and speak with your doctor if you have questions or concerns.

How we calculate the measure

This measure is evaluated annually. The current data is based on information collected from health plan billing data for 2014 dates of service. This information is collected under the measure name Use of Spirometry Testing in the Assessment of COPD.