A Survey of Asthma Care in Managed Care Organizations

A Survey of Asthma Care in Managed Care OrganizationsResults From the Chicago Asthma Surveillance Initiative
The partnership between a person with asthma and their health-care provider is a core component of what is commonly thought to be necessary for high-quality asthma care. However, it is becoming increasingly evident that the health systems surrounding this partnership are key to making this relationship possible. In 1996, the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program published a report of findings from their Task Force on the Cost-effectiveness, Quality of Care, and Financing of Asthma Care. In this report, the task force emphasized the importance of adequate health-care financing for optimal asthma management and stressed the importance of finding out how different types of financing mechanisms may lead to more effective care. www.mycanadianpharmacy.com

Managed care products—both staff model health maintenance plans and nonstaff model plans—have become a major source of health-care finance in the United States during the past decade. Although there are some published data about asthma care practices in managed care, the data are limited and mostly relate to selected asthma care characteristics of individual plans or groups of plans drawn from opportunistic samplings of differing geographic areas. These studies focused on very specific performance measures without exploring the many factors, such as health plan services; providers’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about asthma; and community factors, that may also influence asthma care and asthma outcomes.
Little is known about how managed care organizations (MCOs) organize care within their plans. There are no published studies comparing the products and services offered for asthma care among the various plans within a single community. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine asthma care services among the MCOs of Chicago—a large urban community known to have disproportionately unfavorable asthma outcomes.