Using Medicaid to Advance Community-Based Childhood Asthma Interventions

Treating, managing and ultimately reducing the burden of childhood asthma requires coordinated interventions that integrate community-based approaches into patient care. Asthma education and environmental assessments provided in homes and community settings lead to improved asthma control by reinforcing treatment plans and taking the management of asthma beyond the doctor’s office. These community-focused interventions, which teach children and their families to proactively manage their disease and mitigate asthma triggers, are fundamental to successful asthma control and show a significant return on investment. However, coverage for comprehensive asthma management is not typical among public and private insurers, and few children have access to these evidence-based interventions and services.

This issue brief from the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition, published in February 2013, reviews community asthma interventions; describes new initiatives underway in Massachusetts to promote community-based asthma prevention for children; and discusses opportunities for state Medicaid programs to incorporate these interventions into Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs nationwide.