Focus on Asthma
Asthma Care Quality Improvement: Could It Result in Positive Returns on Investment?
To see estimated savings (or increased costs) from a hypothetical asthma care quality improvement intervention program, choose a target audience you want to reach:
The estimates are generated by the AHRQ Asthma Calculator, a quality tool developed under AHRQ funding by Thomson Reuters. The calculator uses a meta-analysis of 52 research studies on improving asthma care to predict what those studies imply for the savings (or costs) of a hypothetical asthma care quality improvement program.
Asthma care improvement programs typically follow the guidelines of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP). The NAEPP calls for education of patients and providers to better manage the disease. The NAEPP activities for patients focus on self-management to avoid triggers, anticipate problems, and use medications appropriately. The activities for providers focus on accurate diagnosis, appropriate medication prescribing, patient monitoring, and patient education on how to maintain control and avoid attacks. Often education leads to reductions in the need for hospitalization, emergency department visits, urgent office visits, and missed work or school days due to asthma attacks. Ultimately, these reductions save health care dollars and improve productivity.
The calculator uses the following information to estimate the return on investment for a user-defined asthma care quality improvement program:
Based on the above inputs, the calculator provides information on how asthma-related costs are likely to change:
For more information, see Methods.1 Patients with an emergency department visit or an inpatient admission for which asthma was the principal diagnosis.