Dr Arianne Baldomero Discusses Rural Health Care of Veterans With COPD

Arianne Baldomero, MD, MS, a pulmonologist in the Veterans Health Administration, discusses findings of a study looking at chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) disease management for veterans in rural areas.

Findings from a study conducted with primary care providers in 5 states in the Veterans Health Administration (VA) Midwest Health Care Network revealed certain aspects of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) management for veterans living in rural areas.

In this interview, Arianne Baldomero, MD, MS, assistant professor of medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, at the University of Minnesota and a pulmonologist at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System, discussed some of the findings, which were presented at CHEST 2022.


In your study on COPD, what were some of the competing priorities and limited resources that providers mentioned as barriers to caring for veterans in rural areas?

When we talk with primary care providers, for example, a few of them have cited, "I manage huge panels of people." Each patient has many different problems in their problem list, not just COPD, so by needing to take care of a huge panel of people, of patients, with lots of medical problems, I really don't have a lot of time to specifically think about COPD. So that's what they said about competing priorities.

With regard to resources, there were multiple things that have come up. For example, we don't have spirometry or breathing tests available in our clinic. The other ones have mentioned, for example, [they] don't have pharmacists to help with educating them how to use their inhalers or [they] don't have a nurse here specifically working for me. So those were some of the barriers that have come up.

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