American Lung Association Asthma Program Cuts Asthma Hospitalizations in Half for Patients in Participating Clinics

In the U.S., 24.8 million people are living with asthma, which is a chronic lung disease that makes it harder to move air in and out of your lungs. Today, the American Lung Association marks 20 years of its Enhancing Asthma Care program, which is proven to reduce hospitalizations by 47% and reduce emergency room visits by 37% for people with asthma in participating clinics. 

The Enhancing Asthma Care program (formerly known as Enhancing Care for Children with Asthma) helps primary care clinics and medical providers improve the quality of care and health outcomes for their patients with asthma. The program was started in 2004 with seven clinic partners in Minnesota. Today, the program has grown to over 480 clinics in 19 states and continues to grow.

“Asthma is a very common chronic lung disease among both children and adults, and a significant burden on the healthcare system. Each year, asthma costs $50 billion in healthcare costs. Fortunately, we now have incredible treatment guidelines and medications to help keep people’s asthma controlled,” said Jill Heins, senior director of nationwide health systems improvement and indoor air quality for the American Lung Association. “Through the Enhancing Asthma Care program, our experts work closely with healthcare providers to ensure that their clinic is doing everything they can to care for their patients living with asthma.” 

The Enhancing Asthma Care program is proven to improve a clinic’s quality of asthma care, improve health outcomes of their patients with asthma, improve quality indicators/metrics, and capture legal and appropriate reimbursement. The program is focused on improving the health of people with asthma starting from childhood throughout their lives. 

This nationally recognized program has proven successful. Initial results published in the Journal of Asthma (May 2018) and pending 2024 publication revealed a significant improvement in six key indicators:

  • Severity rating
  • Patient self-assessment, such as Asthma Control Test
  • Controller medications
  • Spirometry to confirm the diagnosis of asthma and ongoing management
  • Written asthma action plan
  • Patient asthma education

Additional results published in the Journal of Asthma (March 2020) demonstrate a 37% and 47% reduction in asthma-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations, respectively. This program has also shown significant return on investment to the healthcare system (Journal of Primary Care and Community Health, May 2020).  

Enhancing Asthma Care allows providers and other healthcare professionals to earn Maintenance of Certification Part 4 credits, as well as CME and CEU credits. This program is available at no charge to primary care clinics. 

The Lung Association encourages clinics who serve both pediatric and adult patients to take advantage of this free program. Learn more and sign up at Lung.org/EnhancingAsthmaCare.

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
312-940-7001
[email protected]

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