Neighborhood Health Plan of Massachusetts
Founded in the late 1980s, Neighborhood Health Plan (NHP) was one of the nation’s first health plans to comprehensively address the health care needs of underserved populations. As part of its commitment to improving the lives of its 200,000 members and in response to alarming rates of asthma among the Plan’s target population, NHP introduced its innovative Asthma Disease Management Program (ADMP) in 2000. NHP provides an Asthma Home Visitation Program (AHVP) to all members living with asthma in need of in-depth asthma education and/or home environmental assessment. NHP implemented an Enhanced Asthma Home Visit program in 2005 based on the positive outcomes of a one year Inner City Asthma Study (ICAS) of non-clinician home-based environmental intervention to reduce exposure to environmental triggers and allergens. The AHVP empowers patients to proactively manage their asthma by providing multilingual, low-literacy education to patients and their families during in-home environmental assessments and interventions. In addition, the ADMP helps primary care providers improve asthma care by enhancing programs at primary care sites; using a robust and comprehensive asthma registry; and increasing provider awareness and compliance with asthma treatment guidelines. To further address the appropriate management of asthma, NHP’s website provides access to several provider-focused resources. By collaborating with community-based initiatives, including the Boston Asthma Initiative, the Greater Brockton Asthma Coalition, and State and regional partners, the ADMP’s active leadership strengthens Massachusetts’ community-wide approach to asthma management. Over the past decade, the rates of annual asthma hospitalizations and emergency department visits for Neighborhood Health Plan’s asthma population have fallen by more than 30 percent.