Signify Health, a U.S. healthcare platform, has added spirometry testing for chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) to its in-home diagnostic and preventive services.
The company began offering spirometry testing in select locations earlier this year, with at-home evaluations available to Medicare Advantage and Medicaid plan members.
“In-home health evaluations are a service offered by some Medicare Advantage plans at no cost to the individual,” Signify Health notes on a company webpage.
Spirometry, used to diagnose COPD and in managing the disease, involves measuring how much air a person can breathe in and out, the total volume of air in the lungs while breathing, and breathing speed.
Spirometry tests given to diagnose COPD, enabling treatment
“The damage COPD causes to the lungs is irreversible and incurable. However, too often COPD goes undiagnosed. Signify Health clinicians are able to provide a real-time diagnosis of COPD after a thorough assessment of a patient’s spirometry test results, medical history, and physical examination,” Marc Rothman, MD, chief medical officer at Signify Health, said in a press release.
COPD, a chronic inflammatory lung disease, is characterized by blocked airways and disease symptoms that include cough, wheezing and shortness of breath, even with nonstrenuous exercise. It is reported to affect some 16 million people in the U.S., but only 50% of COPD cases are estimated to have a formal diagnosis, the company stated.
Early diagnosis and treatment are considered essential in slowing disease progression.
Signify Health offers healthcare services for early detection, diagnosis, and management of COPD and other leading causes of mortality and morbidity, including peripheral heart disease, colorectal cancer, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and low bone density.
It seeks to provide better care, improve health management and reduce healthcare costs, the company stated in the release. Improved quality of care is based on specific measures, such as fewer hospitalizations, more preventive care, and the use of certified health information technology to enhance clinical practice and care coordination.
“Early diagnosis and management of chronic conditions are critical to achieving better health outcomes and reducing the total cost of care,” said Rothman. “At Signify, we are performing diagnostic tests in the home to reduce barriers to timely diagnosis and treatment decisions by individuals and their physicians.”