Why should I provide Spirometry in my practice?

Because spirometry is the most important pulmonary test available

Spirometry is a simple 5-minute, non-invasive test that provides information which healthcare providers need to manage their asthma and COPD patients. Neither of the afore mentioned diseases can be appropriately diagnosed or managed based on patient symptoms. Spirometry is one of today’s most accepted and beneficial diagnostic medical tests. In fact, the utilization of spirometry in the clinical setting is so important, it is recommended in the current practice guidelines for both asthma and COPD.

Just as you wouldn’t give insulin without checking blood sugar or an antihypertensive without measuring blood pressure, you cannot accurately treat asthma or COPD without objective measurements of airflow.

Here are the facts:

It’s Important: Spirometry is the gold standard for the diagnosis and management of both asthma and COPD. Spirometers can detect lung function abnormalities before symptoms exist, and 5-10 years before they would appear on a chest x-ray. Providing patients the opportunity to make decisions about their health before symptoms exist is substantial. The earlier you detect disease, the earlier you can manage it and improve the chances of a successful outcome with your patient.

It’s Beneficial to your patients: Your patients are correctly diagnosed and treated more accurately. Patient friendly data such as Lung Age and COPD Risk helps open communication with patients. With knowledge of their personal lung function results, patients are more likely to comply with therapies, physician recommendations, and smoking cessation advice.

It’s Recommended: The NIH and GOLD Guidelines are the standards by which asthma and COPD respectively are diagnosed and managed. Spirometry helps to differentiate between asthma and COPD, classify the severity of the disease, and consequently determine the best therapy for each patient. Additionally, the use of spirometry in the diagnosis and assessment of COPD is now a MACRA MIPS quality measure!

It’s Easy: Spirometry testing is typically performed by a nurse, respiratory therapist, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, or in some cases the physician. You and your staff can be trained to perform spirometry in minutes! The easy-to-read report and built-in interpretation assist with your diagnosis.

It’s Smart for your practice: Medicare and insurance carriers (PPO’s and HMO’s) reimburse for spirometry testing. The average primary care practice could easily see 20 patients per week with indications for a spirometry test. When multiplied by the average national Medicare reimbursement for spirometry, your Satellite spirometer would pay for itself in 3 weeks and generate approximately $38,000 in revenue every year.

 

Abnormal spirometry results may indicate an increased risk of morbidity and mortality from asthma, COPD, myocardial infarction, lung cancer and stroke. And, although primary care providers manage 80% of asthma cases, only 30% provide spirometry testing in their offices.

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