Reducing Repeat Hospital Visits for Children With Asthma
Asthma is the most common chronic medical condition in children, and childhood asthma hospitalizations continue to make up a large portion of preventable hospital readmissions and health care costs. Poorly managed asthma not only impacts a child’s health, but can negatively affect a parent’s employment and a child’s school success. Reducing these hospitalizations and improving asthma care requires addressing the social risk factors for asthma, such as poor housing conditions and limited financial resources, which are prevalent among vulnerable communities in which children with asthma are at the greatest risk of hospitalization. Collaboration and communication among everyone involved in a child’s asthma care is key to effective asthma management, but health care providers are often limited in their ability to address these social determinants of asthma.
In this policy brief, we examine the challenges to addressing the social risk factors of asthma, identify a highly successful approach to reducing asthma hospitalizations we undertook here at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and outline recommendations for policymakers and providers to address asthma in their communities.