Asthma Health Outcomes Project
Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005
Domestic Programs: New Jersey (cont’d)
Asthma Health Management Intervention
Integrated Therapeutics Group/ United Healthcare
Deborah A. Buchner, PhD
A disease management program encompassing children with asthma and their caregivers was developed through the collaboration of United Healthcare, a national health care organization, and Integrated Therapeutics Group, a subsidiary of Schering-Plough. Members within 17 regional United Healthcare markets were offered the Asthma Health Management Intervention as part of their core services for themselves or their family.
The program was designed with the goals of maintaining compliance with nationally recognized asthma management guidelines, improving clinical outcomes for asthmatic members, reducing healthcare costs associated with asthma, and modifying member and physician behavior with regard to asthma care. All asthmatic plan members received an educational booklet, asthma treatment guides, and seasonal and quarterly asthma-related mailings. Members also received an asthma control tool set, which contained a peak flow meter and an educational video. According to risk and need status, members also received opportunities for one-on-one education and telephonic care management. Physicians received reports on their patients with asthma, and physicians of high-risk members received detailed letters and were offered training regarding current asthma treatment guidelines.
A longitudinal study was conducted to determine the impact of the program on pediatric asthma patients (age 5-13) and their caregivers over a 12-month period. Statistically significant post-program outcomes were observed in various domains, including a reduction in adverse utilization, symptomatology, quality of life for children, and lost work days for adult caretakers.
These findings demonstrate that a large-scale population-based intervention program can produce measurable clinical and economic benefits, thereby lessening the burden of asthma on the family unit.
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