Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients enrolled in the Health Buddy Program, a content-driven telehealth system coupled with care management, experienced 23% lower quarterly all-cause hospital admissions and 40% lower quarterly respiratory-related hospital admissions than their peers, a study found.

More than 1,200 Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries were included in the study, which used difference-in-difference analyses to assess whether those enrolled in the Health Buddy Program experienced better health outcomes over a 3-year period, compared with those undergoing baseline treatment for COPD management.

In addition to lowering quarterly hospital admissions for COPD exacerbations, lead author Dr. David H. Au of the University of Washington and his associates said that the Health Buddy Program can be used to improve patient education, self-management, and timely access to care for COPD patients.

Read the full article in Annals of the American Thoracic Society (doi:10.1513/AnnalsATS.201501-04OC).