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Evaluating an asthma disease management program: examining health care utilization with regard to persistent asthma

Chun-Mei Lin, Ming-Chin Yang, Chinho Lin

Abstract


Asthma is a chronic disease that imposes a considerable burden on health care systems. Enhanced asthma management programs may reduce hospital admissions and improve patient satisfaction. The study investigates the quality-of-care and health care utilization of asthma patients by analyzing medical and pharmacy claims to provide opportunities for optimizing asthma disease management.

We performed a retrospective cross-sectional study using Taiwan’s National Health Insurance claims database. We assessed health care utilization, cost and medication for patients. Patients were divided into four groups according to whether or not they were enrolled in an asthma disease management program and whether or not they had persistent asthma.

Out of the total of 543,640 patients, 146,315 (27%) had persistent asthma and 397,325 (73%) had non-persistent asthma. Patients with persistent asthma who had enrolled in an asthma management program had a low rate of asthma-related hospitalizations and emergency department visits compared to patients with persistent asthma who were not enrolled in such a program (0.04% vs. 0.10%, 0.14% vs. 0.45%, respectively). In addition, patients with persistent asthma who were enrolled in an asthma management program had a high rate of inhaled corticosteroid use (ICS) (63% vs. 49%, respectively) compared to patients with persistent asthma who were not enrolled in such a program.

The results of the study show that persistent asthma patients who were enrolled in an asthma disease management program tended to have a decreased rate of asthma-related hospitalizations and emergency department visits as compared to those who were not enrolled in a program.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5750/ijpcm.v1i4.88

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