A $15 million victory for people with asthma!

In a big win for Californians with poorly controlled asthma, the recently adopted state budget allocates $15 million to support asthma prevention and environmental remediation services. The one-time funding will support local health departments, medical providers and community-based organizations to offer asthma home visiting services, including education and environmental trigger mitigation.

The appropriation is the first of its kind in California, and represents a significant “down payment” toward increasing patient access to asthma home visiting services, which improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs by preventing more expensive ER visits and hospitalizations.

The budget victory was led by Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP), a project of the Public Health Institute, in collaboration with the California Pan Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN), Children Now, legislative champion Senator Melissa Hurtado, and a wide range of partners in the field.

Even with this win in place, there’s more to do. Short-term, RAMP and our partners will work with the California Department of Health Care Services to shape the implementation of the funding. We want to be sure this new Asthma Mitigation Project is as effective as possible.

RAMP, along with Children Now and CPEHN, has also been sponsoring SB 207, which aimed to add home-based patient education and trigger assessments as a covered Medi-Cal benefit. Given the $15m appropriation for the Asthma Mitigation Project, we have decided to “park” the bill. SB 207 is now a two-year bill, and we will consider moving it forward next year with the goal of making asthma home visiting services an ongoing covered Medi-Cal benefit.

For any questions, please contact RAMP’s Associate Director, Joel Ervice, at joel@rampasthma.org.

 

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