COPD Foundation Empowers Tennessee Employers: Provides Tools Designed to Mitigate Devastating Health and Financial Costs of Lung Diseases

July 30, 2013

Click Here to Download “Breathing Easier In Tennessee: Employers Mitigate the Health and Economic Costs of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 29, 2013 – The COPD Foundation (COPDF) today announces the release of “Breathing Easier In Tennessee: How Employers Can Mitigate the Health and Economic Costs of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease,” discussing strategies for employers in Tennessee to improve the productivity and quality of life for employees living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The rate of prevalence of COPD in Tennessee is 8.7 percent, the third highest in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“COPD causes avoidable productivity losses and higher healthcare costs, especially in Tennessee,” says John W. Walsh, president and co-founder, COPDF. “Employers have everything to gain by offering education and health management to encourage early screening for COPD, facilitate earlier diagnosis and improve quality of life for those who are affected.”

The paper outlines essential steps that employers can take to reverse this health crisis, including:

  • Accessing tools to better understand and measure the full impact of COPD on the workforce, such as the COPD Employer Toolkit, which enables employers to estimate COPD costs and potential savings that could result from better management
  • Establishing a benefit plan with employee incentives for following COPD preventive care and medication compliance
  • Ensuring health plan coverage for COPD-related care, such as pulmonary rehabilitation services and maintenance programs
  • Encouraging employees to take the five-question COPD Risk Screener

“Education and health management help to lessen the frequency and severity of COPD flare-ups, resulting in fewer work days missed, reductions in hospital claims, and increased employee productivity,” says Walsh.

About the COPD Foundation
The mission of the COPD Foundation ( is to develop and support programs, which improve the quality of life through research, education, early diagnosis, and enhanced therapy for persons whose lives are impacted by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The C.O.P.D. Information Line, 866-316-COPD (2673), is a toll-free number for information and referrals on COPD, offering callers access to peer-to-peer patients and caregiver associates. DRIVE4COPD ( is a public awareness and education campaign of the COPD Foundation.