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Am J Manag Care. 2017 Feb 1;23(2):e67-e69.

Community-based asthma education.

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Albany Medical College, 47 New Scotland Ave, Albany, NY 12208. E-mail:



Objectives: The authors studied the impact a community hospital-based asthma education (AE) program had on asthma understanding, healthcare utilization, and estimated costs.


Prospective observational study.


Every self-selected enrollee in Ellis Hospital's AE program from April 1, 2011, to December 31, 2015, was captured using quality assurance data. Significant changes comparing individual progress were evaluated using 2-tailed paired t tests using SPSS software. Care utilization was measured 1 year before and after AE. Asthma control was evaluated with Asthma Control Test (ACT) scores. The average charges for emergency department (ED) visits and asthma admissions were used to estimate cost impact.


In total, 574 patients of all ages (mean age = 30 years) were seen over the study period. Participants reported better controlled asthma (mean pre-AE ACT score = 14; mean post-AE ACT score = 19; P <.001). Individuals also demonstrated increased asthma knowledge (mean pre-AE knowledge score = 10; mean post-AE score = 13; P <.001). In the 12 months prior to education, there was a mean of 1.1 ED visits and 0.16 inpatient admissions per AE participant. In the 12 months following education, ED visits dropped to a mean of 0.4 visits and admissions to 0.06 per individual (P <.001). We estimated that the program decreased ED charges for this study cohort by about $600,000 and inpatient charges by about $230,000.


Our data suggest that patient AE efforts at the community level are associated with better knowledge of asthma, decreased symptoms, and increased quality of life. The use of expensive resources also was favorably impacted.

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