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Nearly 26 million Americans, including 7.1 million children, have asthma. Asthma kills almost 3,400 people each year. Asthma disproportionately affects African Americans, and there has been a 50% increase in asthma rates for African Americans from 2001-2009. Asthma accounts for 14.4 million lost school days, and is the third leading cause of hospitalization among children under 15. Asthma costs $50.1 billion in direct healthcare costs, and $5.9 billion in indirect costs. Forty percent of asthma episodes are triggered by preventable hazards at home such as smoke, mold, dust mites, pests, combustion products and chemical irritants.
The Bottom Line: Studies show asthma self-management education can lead to a 54% reduction in hospital readmissions and a 34% reduction in emergency department visits—ultimately saving $35 for every $1 in avoided health care costs and lost productivity. Asthma home interventions provide a benefit-cost ratio of $5.3 to $14 for every $1 spent.
NACP tracks asthma prevalence, promotes asthma control and prevention and builds capacity in state and local health programs. Comprehensive asthma control aligns an array of care services across public health, healthcare and other sectors, and the NACP utilizes a tiered approach and NIH guidelines-based asthma management. CDC surveillance tracks activity limitation, days of work or school missed, rescue and control medication usage, and emergency room visits and hospitalizations. NACP also provides linkages to home and school-based efforts to reduce environmental triggers and improving care coordination between providers. NACP currently funds 23 states and four NGOs.
Need to Restore State Programs: In FY14, 13 states were approved but not funded, including Alabama, DC, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Texas, Washington and West Virginia. Effective asthma strategies and established capacity is at risk by this loss of funding. By increasing NACP funding by $3 million, many of these states can restore their previously funded asthma control efforts.