Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Home visits for asthma: A win for both patients and payers

Date:
February 20, 2012
Source:
Children's Hospital Boston
Summary:
Nearly one in 10 children have asthma, according to government statistics, and in low-income parts of Boston, nearly 16 percent of children are affected. A new program demonstrates the potential to dramatically reduce hospitalization and emergency department visits for asthma -- improving patient outcomes and saving $1.46 per dollar spent through reduced hospital utilization.

Nearly 1 in 10 children have asthma, according to government statistics, and in low-income parts of Boston, nearly 16 percent of children are affected. A program called the Community Asthma Initiative (CAI), developed and implemented in 2005 by clinicians at Children's Hospital Boston, demonstrates the potential to dramatically reduce hospitalization and emergency department visits for asthma -- improving patient outcomes and saving $1.46 per dollar spent through reduced hospital utilization.

A study reporting these outcomes and cost savings appears in the March 2012 Pediatrics (published online February 20).

The CAI is a community-based asthma care model targeting low-income families. It includes nurse case management and care coordination combined with home visits by a bilingual nurse or Community Health Worker to educate families about asthma, assess the home for asthma triggers, and provide materials and services to improve the home environment, such as encasements for bedding, HEPA vacuums and pest control.

The CAI team, led by Elizabeth Woods, MD, MPH, of the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, and Shari Nethersole, MD, of the Office of Child Advocacy at Children's Hospital Boston, selected children from four low-income zip codes for the intervention because they had been hospitalized or had made emergency department (ED) visits for asthma. Of 562 eligible children identified, 283 families agreed to participate.

At enrollment, 43 percent of participating children had asthma scored as moderate or severe. Families received an average of 1.2 home visits during the year-long program. "The environmental issues have been much greater than expected, with high rates of pest infestation and dust and mold problems," Woods notes.

After 12 months in the program, the children had a 68 percent decrease from baseline in asthma-related ED visits and an 85 percent drop in hospitalizations. There was a 43 percent reduction in the percentage of children who had to limit physical activity on any day, a 41 percent reduction in reports of missed school days and a 50 percent reduction in parents having to miss work to care for their child. The percentage of children with an up-to-date asthma care plan rose from 53 percent at baseline to 82 percent at 12 months.

All of these improvements were evident within 6 months, and, among children who had follow-up, persisted for as long as two years.

The quality improvement intervention yielded a significant return on investment: When CAI patients were compared with nonparticipating children from four demographically similar communities, the CAI saved $1.46 for every dollar spent. The program cost $2,529 per child, but yielded a savings of $3,827 per child because of reduced ED visits and hospitalizations. "This is a remarkable savings to society and reflects better health outcomes for the children," says Woods.

"Our experience with CAI allowed us to work with community partners to develop a business case for reimbursement of these services by insurers," adds Nethersole.

The CAI has started working with Massachusetts Medicaid and other health care payers to develop and pilot a global or bundled payment system for asthma care. "We expect that the new payment models will incorporate these expanded education and home-visiting services and allow for more comprehensive care for children with high-risk asthma," says Nethersole.

The study was limited due to the lack of insurance data, and was unable to capture data on care at other hospitals, primary care sites and pharmacy claims. The authors believe their analysis underestimated the true cost savings, because it did not include physician fees or financial impacts on families. They suggest that further cost analyses incorporate insurance company data to capture other aspects of care.

The study was funded by a REACH US grant from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Healthy Tomorrows from the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Ludcke, BJ's, Covidien and Thoracic Foundations.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Children's Hospital Boston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Elizabeth R. Woods, Urmi Bhaumik, Susan J. Sommer, Sonja I. Ziniel, Alaina J. Kessler, Elaine Chan, Ronald B. Wilkinson, Maria N. Sesma, Amy B. Burack, Elizabeth M. Klements, Lisa M. Queenin, Deborah U. Dickerson, and Shari Nethersole. Community Asthma Initiative: Evaluation of a Quality Improvement Program for Comprehensive Asthma Care. Pediatrics, February 20, 2012 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2010-3472

Cite This Page:

Children's Hospital Boston. "Home visits for asthma: A win for both patients and payers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120220090612.htm>.
Children's Hospital Boston. (2012, February 20). Home visits for asthma: A win for both patients and payers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120220090612.htm
Children's Hospital Boston. "Home visits for asthma: A win for both patients and payers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120220090612.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins