Researchers from Tulane University School of Medicine analyzed operating costs of a partnership between school-based health centers (SBHCs) and a local allergist providing asthma care for students. Results showed the program was sustainable and cost-neutral and did not rely on grant funding. When grant funding for the program expired, the partners investigated and negotiated contracting for the allergist’s services. “The results after reviewing these records show that the insurance reimbursements for E&M [evaluation and management] and CPT [current procedural terminology] codes would have provided a completely cost-neutral system. Reimbursements equaled the hourly rate of the allergist.”
A community-based program to help manage children’s asthma, developed with and successfully piloted in four Bronx schools, is expanding in up to 40 schools across the Bronx. The five-year “Asthma-PASS” study is supported by a $4.2 million grant from the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH). The components of the Asthma-PASS program “were developed in collaboration with the Bronx schools, teachers, parents and community members to best fit the needs of New York City students with asthma.” The program was piloted at four Bronx elementary schools and results showed an increase in symptom-free days, “especially for children who had persistent and uncontrolled asthma.” The goal of the expanded study is to reduce asthma symptoms among high risk urban school children. The program will focus on educational and physical activities to improve asthma and limit hospitalizations and exacerbations.