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Health Care Service Corporation

Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), the nation’s largest customer-owned health insurer, in partnership with the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest (ALAUM), has implemented comprehensive, community-based asthma quality improvement programs in more than 120 health care clinics in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The program have served an estimated 435,545 individuals across these states, including low-income, Latino, and Native American populations. The ongoing effort works directly with providers to improve the quality of care being delivered to patients with asthma, in addition to direct engagement with individuals through home environmental assessments that include asthma education and providing allergen-reducing and remediation products. The company leverages its own medical claims data to  identify providers serving the highest-risk children with asthma and the ALAUM invites these clinics to take part in a year-long learning collaborative and training program based on the National Asthma Education Prevention Program developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Overall, hospitalizations for children years 18 and younger have reduced by 59 percent and emergency department (ED) visits have been reduced by 54 percent. For individuals older than 18 years, results showed a 52 percent reduction in hospital stays and a 56 percent reduction in ED visits for this population. The program has also realized a positive return on investment – a savings of $2.40 per dollar spent. Not only are patients able to better manage their asthma, but significant reductions in avoidable medical utilization drives down the cost of care for all and allows the company to play a vital role in making the health care system work.   

Dr. Kristina Gutierrez-Barela examining a patient at the Rio Rancho Clinic in Albuquerque, NM.

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