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A unique approach to asthma management

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that affects 15 percent of adults and 10 percent of kids in Wisconsin1. Children’s unique multidisciplinary approach to helping kids manage the disease incorporates research and asthma interventions implemented by our Community Services, Children’s Community Health Plan and clinical teams.

Community Services addresses asthma education through a partnership with Milwaukee Public Schools. This partnership is especially important since asthma causes more than 10 million missed days of school each year2. Our Asthma Care Program educates students on asthma self management through two nationally recognized, evidence-based interventions: Iggy and the Inhalers, and Kickin’ Asthma.

Iggy and the Inhalers targets students in grades 3-5, and Kickin’ Asthma focuses on grades 6-8. Both programs center on prevention and self-management, and provide an outreach opportunity to offer parents and community members additional asthma self management education, including an environmental assessment and intervention in their homes. Kickin’ Asthma also addresses self-advocacy for health related concerns and is being sponsored through a partnership with the American Lung Association-WI chapter.

By the end of the 2015-16 school year, approximately 125 kids in total will have completed one of the 6-week interventions. To determine the effectiveness of the interventions, an asthma control score based on asthma symptom frequency, health care utilization, activity limitations and medication used is taken for each student at the beginning and end of the course, along with pre- and post-test evaluations. These scores are again compared at three and six months after the course. Iggy and the Inhalers and Kickin’ Asthma will begin again next school year.

Children’s Community Health Plan (CCHP) is an HMO for BadgerCare Plus (Medicaid) eligible families living in several Wisconsin counties. Owned by Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, CCHP supports nearly 5,000 members ages six through 17 with an asthma diagnosis. We encourage routine doctor visits and flu vaccinations, offer asthma workgroups and sponsor a group of children each summer to attend the American Lung Association’s Active with Asthma camp – a fun, activity-filled camp that demonstrates how to better manage and control their disease.

To evaluate the effectiveness of these interventions and ensure we’re providing our members access to the highest quality health care and services, CCHP uses the Healthcare Effectiveness and Data Information Set (HEDIS), a tool used by more than 90 percent of America's health plans to measure performance on important dimensions of care and service. Because so many plans collect HEDIS data, it’s possible to compare the performance of health plans on an "apples-to-apples" basis.

In 2013, CCHPs had an impressive asthma HEDIS score of 86.4 percent; which exceeded the scores of large health plans Anthem, Molina and NCQA 50th. In 2014, asthma HEDIS scores weren’t collected for health plan comparison by the state of Wisconsin; however, we still measured our asthma performance and saw an improved score of 86.97 percent!

Children’s Asthma Plus program provides specialized care for kids with severe asthma. Providers from many different specialties help patients focus on education, identify short- and long-term health goals, develop an asthma action plan, and learn the importance of nutrition, exercise, flu vaccination and regular follow-up visits with a doctor.

Educate others
It's a peak season for asthma and allergy sufferers, and a perfect time to educate your patients, family, friends, co-workers and others about these diseases. Learn more.

1http://www.chawisconsin.org/documents/A2WACPlan2015.2020.pdf
2http://www.cdc.gov/asthma/awareness_month/schools.htm

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