This project examined the quality of care in the treatment of asthma in Medicaid children in Alabama and Michigan. It assessed the extent of prescribing problems for pediatric asthma in these Medicaid programs. The study first examined whether asthma medication regimes for children covered by Medicaid were in compliance with the recommendations made by the NIH consensus National Asthma Education Project in 1991. The findings indicate that asthma care provided in urgent-oriented settings is not conducive to on- going, appropriate, prevention-oriented treatment of the condition. Secondly, the study assessed the utility of claims data for measuring the quality of asthma care. Generally, claims accurately represented what occurred during an encounter, but did not accurately identify all of the cases where a diagnosis or procedure occurred. Thus, claims data were a better measure of medication availability than medical records, but the failure to fill a prescription (based on claims data) was not a good indicator of a physician's failure to prescribe a medication. Third, the study used claims data to simulate a letter reminder system that would notify physicians if problems were associated with any of their patient care activities. The assumption is that information from claims data could be used to reach out to families and encourage them to be seen for routine, prevention oriented asthma care.
AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Strategic Planning
FEDERAL CONTACT: Beth Benedict, 410-786-7724
PIC ID: 7192
PERFORMER: University of Alabama, School of Public Health, Birmingham, AL