The healthcare system plays an important role in improving asthma and reducing asthma disparities. Access to quality care should be available and affordable to all. Healthcare delivery should be culturally competent and standardized data should be collected to facilitate identification of and action on health disparities. Because the healthcare system alone cannot fully address the burden of asthma on patients, families and communities, it needs to be part of a more comprehensive public health approach.
Here are four healthcare-related policy recommendations found in the National Asthma Policy Agenda.
- Maintain and expand access to Medicaid, CHIP, and other affordable health insurance coverage options for eligible populations.
- Ensure that Medicaid and other payers include all asthma treatments and home-based asthma services that reduce or eliminate environmental asthma triggers recommended by national evidence-based guidelines in coverage policies.
- End policies that require patients to change medications when they are already well controlled (non-medical switching) and other practices that interfere with patients’ ability to control their asthma.
- Limit out of pocket costs for patients to support adherence to medications and other treatments.
- Implement activities such as those outlined in CDC’s EXHALE Guide for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Leaders or CDC’s EXHALE Guide for Managed Care Leaders and Staff.
- Ensure that prescription formularies include a full range of medication options for quick-relief and long-term control of asthma in accordance with the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) guidelines for diagnosing and managing asthma.
- Develop and test innovative payment models that incentivize providers and cover treatments and services to support the needs of people with asthma.
- Develop and implement coding, coverage and reimbursement policies for payment for home-based asthma services, including environmental remediation.
- Develop and implement sustainable financing mechanisms to better integrate services provided by community health workers into the healthcare delivery system.
- Expand access to telehealth services.
- Implement the activities outlined in CDC’s EXHALE Guide for Healthcare Professionals.
- Provide self-management education using evidence-based interventions by trained professionals as a standard of care.
- Develop and use asthma action plans for all patients.
- Provide case management and care coordination, including home-based asthma education, environmental assessment, remediation, and referrals to other social supports or resources, for high-risk patients and those whose asthma is not well controlled.
- Provide tobacco dependence treatment and pharmacological therapy to smokers who have asthma or who have family members with asthma.
- Recruit and train a diverse workforce to care for patients with asthma, including community health workers (CHW), pharmacists and other members of patients’ care teams.
- Implement the activities outlined in CDC’s EXHALE Guide for Healthcare System Executive Leaders.
- Revise, expand or develop national performance measures aligned with national standards to better measure asthma control and quality of care.
- Provide comprehensive and consistent data that is reported across healthcare systems, including through electronic health records, to improve asthma surveillance and tracking of asthma outcomes and disparities.
Page last updated: November 17, 2022