A new asthma control program introduced by the medical group affiliated with Advocate Health Care in Chicago has saved the hospital system a minimum of $13 million, reports Payers & Providers.
Focus is given to making sure that asthma sufferers are virtually symptom free. "We have to educate people to realize, you can have asthma and be a world-class athlete. You should feel great," said Dr. Pankaj Patel, director of medical quality management for Advocate Physician Partners.
The initiative was created in response to the fact that Chicago has one of the highest hospital admission rates for asthma in the nation, despite the fact that asthma rates among the population are no different than other parts of the United States. The program is based on a system-wide electronic asthma registry that closely monitors patient encounters.
It also throws out some conventional wisdom, such as the vast majority of asthma sufferers do not require long-term controller drugs. About 80 percent of Advocate's asthma patients are on such drugs.
Any asthma patient admitted to an Advocate hospital is seen by an asthma coordinator. Those who have repeated issues getting control over their condition and what exacerbates it are connected to care coordinators. Both positions are new to the Advocate system.